Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday
is hosted by BermudaOnion's Weblog

Today's words are brought to you by Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard

Image from this site.
A white collar bibbed the yoke of it like a guimpe. (40)

guimpe noun
1. a blouse worn under a jumper or pinafore
2. a wide cloth used by some nuns to cover the neck and shoulders
Definition from this site.

To be honest, Dillard is referring to the wimple that nuns wear and, contextually, I assumed that is what guimpe means.  So this is another example of where I am sharing a word, more because I learned a new meaning to a word I pretty much knew without looking it up.

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I bear holiness splintered into a vessel, very God of very God, the sempiternal silence personal and brooding, bright on the back of my ribs. (64)

sempiternal adjective
of never-ending duration
Definition from this site.

This is one of those words that I can't help thinking has a tint of pretension.  Once again, I assumed its meaning. So why did I look it up?  Because I thought, "You know, maybe it doesn't mean eternal.  I mean, if that's what it means why not just say eternal?  I should look it up."  So I did and I was disappointed because while I think it's wonderful to use the precise word I frankly don't think using a more obscure word in lieu of a more common one is necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, it may eve be preferable.

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Be victim to abruptness and seizures, events intercalcated, swellings of the heart. (75)

intercalcate verb
1. to insert (as a day) in a calendar
2. to insert between or among existing elements or layers
Definition from this site.

Now this is one of those words that I can imagine finding a use for but would I remember to use it?  Maybe now, that I've taken time to record it my subconscious will cling to it and pull it up.  After all, now that I've intercalcated the word into my synapses, it's bound to come out somehow.  Oh wait!  I just did use it, didn't I?  Yay me!

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