In the spirit of improving one’s reading comprehension. . . .
In my papers, I don’t intentionally use pompous and grandiloquent language. I search for the _mot juste_ and then actually use it. I do see the critics’ point when they say, “Strive to be clear and simple”; yes, it helps if the audience you are addressing knows what you mean, but must I always cater to those gifted with a lesser vocabulary when I have at my disposal a fresh and beautiful expression? Yes, perhaps “periphrasis, tautology, perissology, pleonasm” should be avoided; I guess the usual instance of elaborate speech IS from some goof-ball trying to be a panjandrum. But I hate the expression “big words”. And think it’s silly to call me sesquipedalian, when that word really refers to the long words themselves. What if we always avoid longer words, even when they’re more precise? This, too, is lazy: “nisus” is smaller than “endeavor,” five letters _vs_ eight letters, and they mean the same thing. The description of these words that I will reluctantly accept is ‘rare words’.
LOGODAEDALY (from Latin *logodaedalia*, Greek *logodaidalia* fr Gk *logodaidalos*-skilled in verbal legerdemain, daidalos-skillful, ingeniously formed): The arbitrary or capricious coinage of words.
Coinage of the Week: dejanesia (noun) : the feeling that I’ve forgotten this before.
Last week: UMFRIEND (noun) – dubious relationship; as in, “This is my … um … friend.”
On the other hand, I can’t see the brand name “Titleist” on a cap or golf ball without thinking of the Beavis and Butthead episode. “He said tit-le-ist, huh huh huh.” My husband turns the channel to golf just to irritate me and pretends to watch and keep track of the yardage, et al, while I’m missing “Yard Sale” on HGTV (all about the 500-mile-long yard sale going on from Kentucky to Alabama this week in May), and then I see that stupid hat, and it’s just over.