There are lots of words that tickle my fancy. Take "rebarbative." It means unattractive or aesthetically offensive. It comes from Old French for a confrontation "beard to beard." I don't know how that turned into art criticism, but I can just hear a curmudgeonly critic declaring "Surely you don't call that rebarbative hunk of metal sculpture." Devastating.
A better-known word that isn't used nearly enough is "odious." Reading a column that referred to "China's odious one-child policy," I was reminded of Susannah York in "A Christmas Carol" (my favorite version, with George C. Scott) calling Scrooge "an odious man," along other adjectives. She stretches out the initial "o" for several expressive beats— oooooodious.
|Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit|
I have a few hat tips to offer this Thanksgiving. A forgotten blogger wrote: "But when I read him back then, in the innocence of youth, the political references sailed lightly over my head. Now that I am taller, they slap me in the face." Now that's an effective image.
Jonah Goldberg wrote: "I feel a bit like a dog who suddenly realizes the car is heading to the vet, not the park." Oh, yeah. I know how he feels.
In a New York Times piece about perceived back-sliding from the sexual revolution, Erica Jong wrote: “We were unable to extinguish the lust for propriety.” Beautiful.
For wonderful words and wordsmiths who create amazing pictures with them, I am truly grateful.