Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Posh talk? Pish-tosh.

It's January, and we are in the high season for that winter parlor game known as the making and breaking of New Year's resolutions. Some party poopers refuse to play, but most of us join the game with varying levels of enthusiasm and hope. Personally, I'm afraid of what my life would devolve into if I gave up the game altogether.

That doesn't mean I resolve to do anything earth-shaking. No, my resolutions have become fairly modest—there's the usual "eat better" and "exercise more," but since the baseline for comparison is my December diet and exercise regimen, i.e., eating enormous quantities of high-calorie food and strolling through department stores, those resolutions are not as ambitious as they might seem. 

But I haven't stopped there. I am truly committed to self-improvement. I also have resolved to use, mostly, the proper fingers to type numbers in 2012, and to give "hallowed" the right emphasis when reciting the Lord's Prayer. No more sing-song "hal-LOWED" for me from now on.

Of course, if someone had given me Pocket Posh Word Power: 120 Words You Should Know for Christmas, I'd really be approaching perfection. The book description on Amazon starts off like this: "Words such as propinquity, armillary, and farrago should be vocabulary staples."

Wow, really? Those are great words, make no mistake, but staples? I'm particularly fond of "farrago," defined as "a confused mixture." Yes, that could come up quite a bit. "Sweetie, I love you, but your place is a farrago of dirty clothes, dirty dishes and dirty dirt." I'm not sure I want to have to take that from my friends and family.

As for "propinquity," well, I've got less use for it. "Honey, your propinquity with the TV screen is going to hurt your eyes." Meh. Doesn't work for me.

But the prize has to go to "armillary." Seriously? An armillary sphere—its friends call it simply "armillary" for short—is that farrago of metal hoops and arrows representing the heavens that astronomers used before they had computer programs for that sort of thing. An armillary certainly is a posh bit of home decor, but since I don't have a posh house, I don't own one. And even if I did, how often would I talk about it? "I don't think I can make it to your party. I've got to dust my armillary."

I guess I won't be doing any posh talking in 2012. It's just as well. I'm pretty sure no one would understand me if I did.


  1. I don't think I'll be using any "posh" words in 2012 either--I didn't even know there was a formal listing of posh words. I think I'll stick to the vintage of words that come in handy for Scrabble. Delightful blog and I'll be back!

  2. Thanks, Sandra. Here's to an unposh New Year!

  3. In addition to posh talk I resolve to eschew the propensity to converse in trite and over used words and phrases (from the 2012 list of banished words) such as Baby Bump, Man Cave and Shared Sacrifice.