Thursday, January 29, 2009

Warning: Wordnerd Post Ahead

Interesting Pile is quickly becoming one of my favorite destinations on my Google Reader dial. I only recently discovered it, but it is a site of a librarian who posts links to all kinds of lists. Top 10 this and List of 30 of that and 20 worst this. Much of it doesn't interest me, but that is a good thing because every day I am inundated with 10 or 20 of these lists, so if I just find a few interesting ones per day, it takes up much of my valuable time. If only they weren't so stinking, well, interesting.

Today, one of the links was to Bookninja - a site that I have never heard of - who post a list of the 100 most beautiful words in English from the alphaDictionary. This is according to Dr. Godcomplex who arbitrarily picked them out of his rectal cavity.

Anyway, apparently he bases this on the sound and meaning of the words, probably using the same formula that Medicare uses when determining reimbursement levels.

Of course, to wordnerds like me, I have to put my two cents in, so I went through the list and found 13 that I actually think are beautiful, based on my formula, which is "does it sound beautiful" (read: cool). To his credit, he did get my two favorite words: plethora and loquacious, and in his "bonus" section (which, interestingly, is just a continuation of his alphabetical list) mentions tintinnabulation. Otherwise, he failed miserably - Fragile is one of the top 100? Really? After muddling through his list, I went to my list (yes, I have a list - 240 words strong so far - I openly admit that I am a nerd) and grabbed 50 that should have been on Dr. Goodwimp's list but were apparently not as worthy as elixir or diffuse or glamour or ripple.

So to all my hopeless wordnerd colleagues out there, please enjoy the 13 honorable mentions from Dr. Goodlord, and then look at what a real list of wonderful words should look like.

Did I mention I'm a nerd? If not, I'm a nerd.

From Dr. Goodweird's list:

7 blandiloquent Beautiful and flattering.
20 ebullient Bubbling with enthusiasm.
26 ephemeral Short-lived.
30 eschew To reject or avoid.
33 ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
49 imbue To infuse, instill.
54 inure To jade.
62 lithe Slender and flexible.
63 loquacious Talkative.
83 penumbra A half-shadow, the edge of a shadow.
86 plethora A great excess, overabundance.
96 scintillate To sparkle with brilliant light.
100 surreptitious Sneaky.

From my list:
  1. Abrogate
  2. Alacrity
  3. Anachronism
  4. Attenuated
  5. Bequeath
  6. Burgeon
  7. Cacophony
  8. Circuitous
  9. Confabulate
  10. Dearth
  11. Deleterious
  12. Discombobulate
  13. Efficacious
  14. Egregious
  15. Emaciated
  16. Epistemological
  17. Equanimity
  18. Extemporaneous
  19. Heretofore
  20. Ignominious
  21. Indubitably
  22. Insinuate
  23. Intrinsic
  24. Juxtaposition
  25. Leviathan
  26. Machination
  27. Magnanimous
  28. Malapropism
  29. Masticate
  30. Nomenclature
  31. Obfuscate
  32. Ornery
  33. Paraphernalia
  34. Parturition
  35. Pedantic
  36. Perspicuity
  37. Precocious
  38. Preternatural
  39. Quixotic
  40. Resilience
  41. Repository
  42. Reticent
  43. Saltatory
  44. Superfluous
  45. Triumvirate
  46. Unconscionable
  47. Unremitting
  48. Vitriol
  49. Voracious
  50. Writhe

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