Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Words which I use incorrectly

An incomplete list...

Means: of or pertaining to evening.
I use it to mean: slow. 'Oh, that tram's going past in a crepuscular way.'

Means: Of or relating to an uncle, like an uncle.
I use it to mean: Friendly.

Means: Working or acting merely for gain.
I use it to mean: Indiscriminate.

Means: afternoon.
I use it to mean: midday, afternoon, evening, or night.

Means: branch of medical science relating to the functions and diseases peculiar to women, especially those relating to the reproductive organs.
I use it to mean: anything relating to the body.

In general I find that long obscure words are incredibly useful, since most people don't trouble to throw them into a conversation and therefore most people aren't sure what they mean anyway. So when you do throw them into a conversation, their meaning largely depends on their function in the sentence you are saying, and the context.

Not sure how I started using 'afternoon' indiscriminately, though. (Or should I say, not sure how I started being so mercenary with my use of the word 'afternoon'?)

Should I be doing this? No. Will I keep on doing this? Hell, yes.


Anonymous said...

I've already noticed a couple of these idiosyncratic usages, but I understood perfectly well what you meant each time. Sometimes this sort of thing will send me to the dictionary (even with very common words) to see if there's a nuance in the way the other person uses the word that I've missed.

Hope you have a safe and painless trip up north and a wonderful time with all your loved ones.

TimT said...

Thanks, and I hope you have a great Christmas.

I was sure as hell wrong this morning about not being able to find anything else to talk about that was non-Christmas related!

Shelley said...

Most of my uncles think the meaning of avuncular is something to do with randomly groping nieces. Their behaviour has rather distorted the meaning of the word for me.

Have a lovely Christmas, Tim.

TimT said...

Thanks, and you too Nails. A very disturbing form of avuncling you outline there.

Maria said...

Merry Christmas to you TimT!

Enjoyed your blog posts muchly. Thankee. Hope you have a happy and safe holiday.

(I got out a few more Eva Ibbotson books but couldn't find Which Witch? I think someone else with good taste has borrowed it from the library. I'll keep hunting! Thanks for all your recommendations!)

Shelley said...

It's all about what you get used to, yo know...?

Anonymous said...

I use avuncular to mean "molesting." Is there something wrong with me? DeliaBlack

DeliaBlack's Blog said...

This is a test. This is only a test.
(I just wanted to see what would appear when I did this. I didn't want to leave those nuclear codes in plain sight again.)

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