Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It is a very long time since I played Scrabble. If my memory serves part of the set up of the game is for the players to agree what dictionary would be accepted as the authority for word verification. I do not remember the Oxford English Dictionary being used, and I have come to suspect a reason. One might posit that the expense of the volume precludes it's being available, but I think the real reason is that in the OED one can find just about any combination of letters cited as a word. It gives me no end of amusement. Rather than scrabble, the Mad Genius and I would compete for obscure words. he found "lucubration" which was quite an achievement. My specialty was early agriculture terms. No wonder I like G.M.Hopkins' poetry so much.

Today I was engaged in a little exercise about  just how pretentious it is possible to get regarding the names of certain spaces in our church. I was looking up "Ambulatory" to see if I could get away with calling a certain space an ambulatorini, or perhaps a demi-ambulatory. I was then distracted from that noble pursuit by "Ambubey," which is an obsolete term for "endive"

So next time you are in Whole Foods with someone whose gustatory pretensions exceed your own, you now have a little trump!


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