10 Disappearing Words Worth Saving

Sunday, August 22, 2010
Snollygoster Center of the United States

Each year the English language loses hundreds of words, just from people ceasing to use them. This reality is unacceptable to the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, who are asking individuals to “adopt a word,” whether it is “old words, wise words, hard-working words. Words that once led meaningful lives but now lie unused, unloved and unwanted.” Meanwhile, 90% of written communication uses only 7,000 different words.

Participants in the word adoption program can either choose one of their own or be assigned a word. Anyone who adopts a word promises to use it in everyday conversation or correspondence as often as possible.
Among the words that are available for adoption are:
·       Snollygoster: a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician
·       Molrowing: the act of making merry with prostitutes
·       Theomeny: the fury of God
·       Pudify: to cause to be embarrassed
·       Philargyrist: someone who loves money
·       Pamphagous: eating or consuming everything
·       Apanthropinization: withdrawal from human concerns or the human world
·       Agonyclite: member of a heretical sect that stood rather than kneeled
·       Scaevity: unluckiness
·       Quibbleism: the act of beating around the bush
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Save the Words.org (Oxford Dictionaries)


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