Any amusing or obsolete words up your sleeves? How about deplete? As great as it sounds, we can't have "replete" because the root is the Latin word dēplētus/dēplēre meaning empty, not the would-be English root plete. How about disgruntled? Is this the loss of grunt?
[PS: "Replete" is from the different Latin word replēre.]
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Everyone has been dis-appointed. Has anyone ever been appointed?
Dear accsessteacher--I knew I should have added the (-)! That would be nonexistent root -plete, prefix de-, and prefix re-. Truly, we can't have de- plete or re- plete because we don't have English root plete! My first mistake of 2012!! Well, first acknowledged public mistake of 2012 at any rate.
If Plete, De-plete and Re-plete are in a boat and Plete and De-plete fall out, who's left?
There are some words that are a delight to say because of the way that they bounce or the lyricism of them. Phenomenon has always been a favorite simply for its pronunciation--whose French version is fun because of the way to say the suffix -tion. The Italian world amore is almost onomatopoetic.
An obsolete English word that clearly needs to be rejuvenated is fain. Does not "I fain would lie down" sound preferable to "I would like to lie down"?.... Oh, Lord Randall, where are you?
Whenever I teach Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, I have to stop and discuss some of the old words and phrases used in the story. One of my favorites comes in the final chapter, when the boy who is asked by Scrooge to run and pick up the prize turkey responds, "Walk-er." Difficult to find in any modern dictionaries, it is meant as an expression of disbelief. Other Dickensian favorites include "water-butt (a rain barrel)," "slopseller (a dealer in second-hand clothes)," "faggot (bundle of twigs)," and "assizes (serious judicial cases)."
Can we not use the word "replete" any more? I still do! Some of my favourite words that I fear are going to be forgotten as we move ever closer towards a kind of Orwellian newspeak and text language would be words such as "juxtaposition," which one of my students misheard and thought I was talking about "just a possession," which confused her greatly as I was talking about the relationship between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley at the time.
Here are a couple of words I wish were in the OED:
In my teaching, I often emphasize the concept of "mutability." We discuss the fact that mortality is one kind of mutability. A student once got confused and referred to "mortability," which I think is a great coinage.
I will also never forget the paper in which a student said that "Hawthorne uses characters who often function as spacegoats." Ever since, I have been unable to get that image out of my mind.
I have a few favorite words. One of them is "uxorious." It comes from the Latin word, "uxor," which means wife. So, one who is uxorious is one who is slavishly devoted to his wife. Another one of my favorite words is "otiose," which comes from "otium," which means free time in Latin. The opposite of this is negotium in Latin, meaning doing business.
A lover of the 20's, I enjoy some of the phrases (or kennings for you Anglo-Saxon lit lovers) of the Roaring Twenties.
Here are a few of my favorites which need to make a comeback:
All wet, Bee's knees, Old Bird (meaning odd), Gams, Wet Blanket (describing a person), and Giggle Water (alcohol).
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