Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Continuing to Improve My Vocabulary

Maybe it's coincidence or maybe Italian writers like to use uncommon words. I've been working my way through Giorgio Manganelli's book of short stories, All the Errors, and find that he, like Eco, knows how to use a language. Here are some of the words I have had to look up:

  • ubication. The quality or state of being in a place; local relation; position or location; whereness. "...would then comport my further transformation into one of those beasts I define as awake by virtue of their ubication in sleep's interior."
  • senescence. The condition or process of deterioration with age; loss of a cell's power of division and growth. "The ailing Throne resists with all the power of senescence."
  • sapid. Having strong, pleasant taste; (of talk or writing) pleasant or interesting. "Their form as Shadow, accompanied by no intervening body nor by any sun, and uniquely comprehensible as a mode of dementia, cautious and sapid..."
  • pinguitude. Fatness; a growing fat; obesity. "Vegetable pinguitude gives it harbor from Triangular rancors."
  • lacustrine. Of, relating to, or associated with lakes. " is conceivably extraneous even to the concept of a sea, or at any rate of waves, no matter if fluvial or lacustrine or of any other body of water,..."
  • eructation. A belch. " is thus an orifice, and gives ceaseless issue to eructations..."
  • otiosity. From otiose. Lazy; indolent; of no use; ineffective; futile. "...the Dream awakes; seeing its own otiosity, which has nothing to do with nothingness..."
All these words from a slim book of 158 pages and I'm not even done with it yet! I still have 30 pages left to read. I can only conclude, if you want to get smarter, read Italian authors. Word definitions courtesy of and my fabulous Mac Tiger widget which uses Oxford American.