Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When No Other Word Will Do

May 28, 2012

David Bamber as Mr. Collins. Photo by www.fanpop. com
One of the things I love most about reading is when you find a really good word.  A word that stays in your vocabulary even though you may not use it all the time.  A word that evokes such specificity that no other word or description will even come close.  To this day, I remember the first time I came across such a word.

I was in high school, and we had been assigned to read Pride and Prejudice.  It was my first encounter with Jane Austen, I confess that at the time, I just didn't get it.  It was just one more dusty book in a long line of dusty books that I had endured (note to my freshman English lit teacher - Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding has absolutely no resonance for a 13 year old).
BUT, the great thing about Pride and Prejudice is that it gave me the word "odious."  And, to this very day, it is one of my all time favorite words. The definition of odious is highly offensive; repugnant; disgusting.  I my mind this word is forever tied to the character of Mr. Collins and his obsequious and smarmy nature.  My lips curl in disgust just thinking of him which pretty much captures the essence of odious.
So here's my question to you, dear readers, what words have you encountered in your reading adventures have stuck with you?  Are they tied to characters (a la Mr. Collins) or situations?  I'd love to hear from you.  Leave a comment and let me know.

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