Pulchritudinous

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Syzygys, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The writer of the article used this word to describe a female. OK, asshole, I will look it up. As I thought, it just means gorgeous. Anybody who is using such a word for no good reason (and there isn't one) should be shot at the 3rd letter using it...
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
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  3. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    Apart from its not being especially melliflouous, what's the issue? To me, that word isn't completely obscure (unlike, say, callipygian, which I recognize as obscure even though it's within the vocabulary I myself might reach to) and it sets a somewhat different and more formal tone than "gorgeous."

    On the other hand, I have never encountered a situation in which the word "utilize" was in any way better than "use", save in a game of Scrabble. Still, I limit my murderous impulses even in non-Scrabble contexts.

    Plus, you'd have to shoot Orson Scott Card, whose used it in his The Ships of Earth.

    Leave Orson Scott Card alone!
     
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Those zany intellectuals just love to use words that no one else knows to show everyone how intellectual they are.They must prove that they are college grads by using words only they and their fellow intellects have learned in 10 years at school.

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  7. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    I like long words. They're much more fun to use than short, run of the mill ones.
     
  8. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    Indeed. Such fustian, sesquipedalian grandiloquence gets right on my tits.

    Why can't people just say what they mean, eh?
     
  9. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

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    Me too. I mostly like to use them incorrectly.
     
  10. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    I would like to see teenagers start using these words, then start to abbreviate it as they IM. Then we would end up with really nice abbreviations...PLCHD
     
  11. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    I remember one another forum, my name was eviscerated, someone abbreviated it to vscrtd.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It doesn't have quite the same connotation as gorgeous. Look up the words in a dictionary. "Gorgeous" conveys a sense of splendor, magnificence, sumptuousness. Shakira in a leotard is beautiful, but if you put her in a $50K gown for an award ceremony, she becomes gorgeous.

    "Pulchritude" is just a Latin word for "beauty," which is a French word. So "pulchritudinous" and "beautiful" are just anglicized adjectives made from two foreign nouns. Pick the foreign culture you feel like borrowing from today.

    "Pretty" is our meager native Anglo-Saxon word for it and it's a bit worse for the wear. I suppose that's why they invented "lovely," it has some of that sense of splendor and magnificence.
    So you're saying that we intellectuals with college degrees toss around big words to bond with each other and to prevent hoi polloi from understanding us. That comes pretty close to the definition of a cant.
    A common trait among intellectual, educated people is that we love language. We get tired of hearing the same pithy words used over and over.

    When you're writing you take great pains not to overuse a word, or your writing becomes boring. There's no reason that technique can't be adapted to speech.
     
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    The problem is that MOST people use the same words because they can understand what they mean and convey a thought to others easily, without much need of a large vocabulary to express themselves. Just because you might know 5 words that can be substituted for some word doesn't mean everyone else has to know them. It is fortunate that you had the ability to attend college unlike the other 80 percent of people who didn't. Just remember in a world that is made up of people with a 8th grade education basically you are just trying to "show off" to them and your vocabulary doesn't mean squat, but you look like a pompous ass to them.

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  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    FR what about "stunning"?
     
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The thing about language is that it is a tool for communication. If most of your readers don't understand what you are trying to say because of the excessive usage of obscure words, you simply failed to deliver your message and proved yourself a pompous (orotund, ostentatious,turgid, portentous, fustian,etc.) snob...
     
  16. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Ditto! I love language, too. I like how words seem to have a vitality of their own.
     
  17. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    Unless the message you want to communicate is: I have a better vocabulary than you...

    I like the ability to determine and use what is, in my estimation, le mot juste in a given circumstance, with just the right shade of meaning. One small issue, I know, is that my audience may or may not have the same sence of the shades of meaning that I do, so I roll the dice on that aspect of the communication.

    From my perspective, though, it's far better to promote a culture in which listeners are encouraged to look up unfamiliar terms and to familiarize themselves with the shades of meaning than it is to foster the notion that anyone using unfamiliar terms should be castigated as an elitist (or would-be elitist). Personally when I hear a new word (or even an old one whose meaning I cannot recall), I am usually happy to run to the computer or dictionary to discover (or possibly "rediscover") its meaning.
     
  18. draqon Banned Banned

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    everyone knows how to say "stunning" meanwhile " Pulchritudinous" which means the same thing will get everyone's ears up.
     
  19. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I remember listening to William F Buckley talk and was amazed at his vocabulary. That made me want to learn more than I knew and I started to emulate him only to find that most of the people I associated myself with thought I was trying to show off to them and some even took offense to my way with words, so I just stopped with my use of a greater vocabulary in order to stay friends with those around me. That was a very long time ago, 1960's to be exact.:truce::wallbang:
     
  20. draqon Banned Banned

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    I suddenly feel young...
     
  21. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Good thing you stopped, because he was a douchebag, RIP....

    You can occasionally use a less known word and still not sound as a snob...
     
  22. draqon Banned Banned

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    people don't talk bad about dead people...and surely do not call them douchebags...or at least they should not call them douchebags.
     
  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    As if it is going to bother them!

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