Sunday, June 5, 2016

Words you can use (or not, up to you)

When I was a young woman living in New York, I had a job working for a small fabric manufacturer.  The principals in the company made a very good living -- the wives of the owners had full-time cooks -- but the rest of us were not treated as they treated themselves.  They were very generous with overtime but we all got minimum wage or just above and so every person worked five hours overtime a week.  It was generous but required.  If you sashayed out "on time" they let it be know that you'd made a mistake.  Once we understood it was something that had to be done, we all did it.  Misery loves company.

Our big boss was a smart man and I thought kind of unscrupulous.  In fact, he probably did have scruples but they were the scruples of a man in business who had scratched his way up from nothing to build something for himself and his children and their families.  Nothing was going to take that from him and if an employee -- even one of the loyal, longtime workers -- happened to be having a bad time in life, maybe calling in a lot, frequently coming in late, or just behaving from how he expected them to behave -- instead of sitting them down and talking to them and asking what was going on, he would fire the person.  Coldly, without consideration of their situation, without any thought really, he would call them in on a Friday afternoon right before quitting time and tell them to never return.  (At one point he'd fired so many people in such a short period of time -- eight people in eight weeks -- that the State of New York sent him a letter telling him that if he kept it up, they were going to start levying fines.)  It really was shifty, shady, and, yes, unscrupulous.

In this office, with the used furniture and ancient typewriters and questionable bathroom tidiness, was an old dictionary which I managed to get onto my desk.  In the occasional slow period, I would open the old dictionary at a random place and let my eyes fall on a word.  One day I found the word that, for me, described him perfectly.  The word is snollygoster.

Here is what dictionary.com says about it:

noun, Slang.
1. a clever, unscrupulous person.
1855-60; origin uncertain

I subscribe to the blog called Apartment Therapy.  I live in an apartment, if I ever buy my own place it will be a condo, so the whole concept appeals to me.  They have different writers and today Taryn Williford, offered an article about words that we might be able to use.  I offer them to you as they are much more useful than snollygoster.

Decathect (v.)
To withdraw one's feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss.

Clinomania (n.)
An excessive desire to stay in bed.

Ultracrepidarian (n.)
Someone who gives opinions beyond one's area of expertise.

Tidsoptimist (n.)
A person who's habitually late because they think they have more time than they do.

Potvaliancy (n.)
Brave only as a result of being drunk.

Sangfroid (n.)
The ability to stay calm in difficult or dangerous situations.

Apricity (n.)
The warmth of the sun in winter.

Swivet (n.)
A state of nervous excitement, haste, or anxiety; flutter.

Tacenda (n.)
Things not to be mentioned or made public—things better left unsaid.

Trouvaille (n.)
A lucky find.

Bibelot (n.)
A small object of curiosity, beauty, or rarity.

Ailurophile (n.)
A cat fancier; a lover of cats.

Abditory (n.)
A place for hiding or preserving articles of value.

Sprezzatura (n.)
Perfect conduct or performance of something (as an artistic endeavor) without apparent effort.

Lachrymose (adj.)
Given to tears or weeping.

Akrasia (n.)
The state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of will.

Cryptomnesia (n.)
When you forget that you've forgotten something, and perceive it as a new, original thought.

Foofaraw (n.)
A great fuss or disturbance about something very insignificant, or an excessive amount of decoration or ornamentation, as on a piece of clothing, a building, etc.

Pogonotrophy (n.)
The cultivation of beards, beard-growing.

Mumpsimus (n.)
Adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language,memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy.

Lethologica (n.)
The inability to remember a word or put your finger on the right word.

No comments:

Post a Comment