?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Vocabulary

I am reading 'Kraken' by China Mieville. Have not read very much by him over the years. But I am enjoying this book. It has a particular richness like a heavy mousse cake. Deep flavor, if that makes sense. It is a story that makes you do quite a lot of work for the reward of the plot.

And I am meeting words that I do not know. That almost never happens to me. I don't just mean words that tickle because I am not sure of all the tastes of meaning, I mean words I have never seen before.

I feel ashamed of not knowing them. I am quite sure that the author is not deploying all the words I don't know. This man has better tools than me, and he is using them with skill that I don't have.

Here is a list. Maybe you guys are friends with these words.

Apatheosed

Benthos

Vorago

Plangurgy

Teloi

Haruspex

Asymtote

Ruction

Ruction and Haruspex gave me a tingle of recognition. I would not have used either word with confidence though. Husband knew Asymtote, because of his studies. I can guess that some of the others are Greek derived. i made a note of the words, and let the story whisk me onward. It is a good story. I won't spoil it, but there is a giant squid who is preserved in a jar, and he is a God. And it is a story that has a place-flavor. I like it. I am sure it will make a little more sense the second time through.

I am writing today too-- should have something up about something, tonight.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lady_latimer
Aug. 9th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
That is one drool-worthy list of words - or does thinking that make me weird?! Ruction I knew, the rest I didn't; I now want to look up the rest.

Writing, and developing through our writing, is a journey. Finding things we don't know is good, it means we have room to grow and new things to explore.

Thanks for sharing these, and apologies for stalking you over from the Hornblower comm!
eglantine_br
Aug. 9th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, you can stalk me anytime. Yes, it is important for me to keep reading and learning. I don't absorb new words as readily as I did when I was younger. These are so delicious that I want to use them. But they are pretty specific. They cannot be to casual chat.

I knew a kid once who left something behind that he needed, one day, just because he wanted to use the words 'plum forgot.'

You see what I mean here-- the words are beyond tactile and into tasty.
kittygamble
Aug. 9th, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
"there was ructions!" is a common enough phrase over here. I never stopped to think about it much, but it is a brilliant sounding phrase now I have.
kittycallum
Aug. 9th, 2013 10:35 pm (UTC)
I knew benthos and asymtote (though the latter I had only heard in French!) but the rest are beautiful mysteries. What on Earth is *Plangurgy*?
eglantine_br
Aug. 9th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
I think I may have copied that one out wrong. Can't find it either.

Horatio and Archie would know Asymtote for sure.
anteros_lmc
Aug. 9th, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
Ruction is the only one of these words I am on intimate terms with. The others look rather exotic and standoffish. I suspect they would turn their noses up at me.

While I admire authors that mine language for these hidden gems, what I really love is writers who have that rare ability to weave brilliance from words that are commonplace in lesser hands. That said, I am now off to read your latest fic :)
wellinghall
Aug. 10th, 2013 06:51 am (UTC)
I know ruction, and I know what may be different spelings of asymtote / asymptote and apatheosed / apotheosed. But no-one can know all the words in English!
thistle_chaser
Aug. 10th, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
Wow, I don't know a single word on that list either. If pressed, I'd guess most of them weren't even English!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )