Lexicophilia… or, 50 Fancy Words

One of the most crucial tools a writer – or any individual, for that matter – must possess in his arsenal is a vocabulary worthy of shaping his his ideas. Indeed, words are at the fundamental root of it all. It is with these words that one can properly express himself, and as mentionned, do justice to his thoughts.

Thus, one’s creation is only as strong as the words he employs, or rather, choses to employ (because writing is a question of choices, after all).

One of the most interesting veins of the writer’s craft is the perpetual search for new, exciting terms to incorporate into my everyday vocabulary. Whether they be colloquialisms, slang terms or more formal words, these are the tools that can make a good story great.

An authority in the field of journalism, the New York Times staff best exemplifies the use of a stellar vocabulary. In order to meet the demands of their target audience – a more intellectual gamme of readers than say, the Toronto Sun – the Times shows us , on a daily basis, how vocabulary can enhance the stories they publish.

Here is a list of the Times’ 50 most frequently looked-words of 2010 (for a reflection on this trend, check out http://topics.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/50-fancy-words/):

  • 1 inchoate
  • 2 profligacy
  • 3 sui generis
  • 4 austerity
  • 5 profligate
  • 6 baldenfreude
  • 7 opprobrium
  • 8 apostates
  • 9 solipsistic
  • 10 obduracy
  • 11 Internecine
  • 12 soporific
  • 13 Kristallnacht
  • 14 peripatetic
  • 15 nascent
  • 16 desultory
  • 17 redoubtable
  • 18 hubris
  • 19 mirabile dictu
  • 20 crèches
  • 21 apoplectic
  • 22 overhaul
  • 23 ersatz
  • 24 obstreperous
  • 25 jejune
  • 26 omertà
  • 27 putative
  • 28 Manichean
  • 29 canard
  • 30 ubiquitous
  • 31 atavistic
  • 32 renminbi
  • 33 sanguine
  • 34 antediluvian
  • 35 cynosure
  • 36 alacrity
  • 37 epistemic
  • 38 egregious
  • 39 incendiary
  • 40 chimera
  • 41 laconic
  • 42 polemicist
  • 43 comity
  • 44 provenance
  • 45 sclerotic
  • 46 prescient
  • 47 hegemony
  • 48 verisimilitude
  • 49 feckless
  • 50 démarche
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1 Comment

Filed under Miscellaneous, Reflections and Musings

One response to “Lexicophilia… or, 50 Fancy Words

  1. I won’t give you the definitions. By looking them up, they’re more likely to stick with you!

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