[ let’s have words ]

Captivating conversation is disappearing almost as rapidly as glaciers and ice shelves. The culprit, as always, is the hot air created by humans — mostly in the form of inflammatory belligerence. Militance isn’t quiet. Nor is it chill. 

You’ve heard of the Algonquin Round Table, right? They were a gang of smarty pants sophisticates back in the day — Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, etc. — and the toast of the town. They’d gather for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel in New York and try to top each other with funny, biting remarks and stories. Those lunches became so famous they drew onlookers (also known as eavesdroppers). Can you imagine? Witty, civilized, high-flown discussions were actually considered entertainment. In the United States!

That was the heyday of clever conversation.

Today’s social encounters, by comparison, barely qualify as conversation. No sentence is complete without an effing or six in there. The f-bomb is used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, a greeting, an accusation, a threat, an exclamation, even a term of endearment. As a result, f**k is so overused it has the shock value of ‘heck’ or ‘gosh,’ which at least have a retro vibe going for them.

Then, too, there’s the ranting and dissembling, the preposterous claims, as well as the flaming craziness of the clamoring fringe. Oy, it’s exhausting to listen to, so most of us don’t.

C’mon, we can do better. Lots better. We can, with a little effort, lead the way out of the echo chamber by expressing our thoughts in a charming fashion. To do that, we need words. New words. Old words. Stylish words. Fun words. The runts and mutts, the overlooked and abandoned and dated, the forgotten. When, may I ask, is the last time you used the word ‘dodgy?’ Or ‘flamboyant?’ ‘Sozzled?’ ‘Fiduciary?’ ‘Tosh.’ Sprinkle those into your conversation from time to time, listeners will swoon. Perhaps they’ll even follow your witty example and, voilà, engaging banter will spread like covid. Before you know it, society will at least sound well-mannered. 

That’s my dream, anyway. With your help it can come true. Start stocking up on curiously engaging words, they’ll be your ammunition. Take note of the brief compilation below and use it as motivation or a head start. Either way, you’ll be prepared to disarm the world with good-natured raillery.

>>> A Starter Kit <<<

backfriend = an enemy posing as a friend

all-overish = feeling vaguely uneasy

bêtise = a fancy word for stoopidity

happify = to make happy

jackassery = a piece of folly

gobemouche = a gullible person

grudgeful = filled with resentment

sloomy = feeling sleepy, sluggish

mordacious = sharp or biting in manner

Ready? Set? Hobnob.

copyright © 2023 the whirly girl

20 responses to “[ let’s have words ]”

  1. I have to admit I have always been a bit of a prude when it comes to off colour language. The “F” bomb never crossed my lips. While studying TV and film dialogue it was pointed out the importance of using in, only once, in “Cabaret” and “Coming to America”. It was very effective in the dialogue. Fast forward (OK not that fast) I noticed in recent years that my language has definitely become more…colourful, salty, spicy, foul. The people I am spending my not so golden years use the “F” bomb (and many more) I have become desensitized and complacent. I don’t like it.
    On another note I have always enjoyed making up new words. I remember an employee I had hired from Portugal was always asking about words and language and what something meant or how you say something. It was second nature just to tell him and move on. Once I used one of my made up words. He came back a few minutes later and asked me about it. I told him I made it up. He was shocked, “You can do that!?!” I laughed for days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣 I know exactly what you mean. I can and do and very much enjoy swearing like a sailor, but only when I’m by myself, most especially in the car. However, I still wear a mask and that’s turned me into a muttering foulmouth. I guess if no one can see my lips moving, then I’m free to whisper cringeworthy invective whenever it suits. God help me when the mask finally comes off. kapow 🥊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Car. Oh, yes. Very, very, bad. It is like I become a whole different creature.


  2. Good to see you leading your crusade (for a more vital vocabulary) by splendid example – a beacon blogpost indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Dave 👋 It is my new mission impossible. Or new windmill. Whatever. For a long time I dedicated myself to resuscitating the word ‘apricity’ — warmth from the winter sun — but it remains dead as a doornail. Except to me. I think it’s beautiful and worthy of a prominent place in everyday language. Pass it on.

      And thanks for the encouragement, Sancho.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Apricity rocks! As for those windmills, keep tilting at ’em …

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for the starter kit! Now I know there is a word for my type: gobemouche 🤓 (not joking, I have to be careful…) But I’m not a dummy & know an awesome blog when I read one. Bravo 👏🏻 I’m sharing in hopes to change the world. Thank you!🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been trying to convince you I’m competent forever and you have yet to fall for it. Clearly, you’re a far cry from a gobemouche. What you are is a trusting soul. Big difference! Thanks for sharing, I truly appreciate it :o)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Engaging banter spreading like covid!!

    I love these words you use! Don’t stop whirly girl!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, look at you making my day! Hiya, Celi 👋 Honestly, I feel I’m just getting started. Again. On the whirly girl 6.0 or whatever update this is. It’s way, way, WAY past time, too. Yikes-o-rama‼️ How I wish someone had stepped in and done an intervention. My apologies for the last year or three. I’ll try really, really, bigly hard to do better. Wish me luck 🤞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Loving having you back!!

        Your writing has always made me laugh!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re the best. Thank you❣️

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Deliciously intriguing. May your words ring rapturously amongst the magnitude (or at least amongst those who still give a fig.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From one word lover to another, thank you for your support :o) Now, let’s do this!


      1. Not wishing to be ornery…but I thought we were already underway?!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We’re off to a good start, but we need to spread the word (no pun intended) far and wide. Forget our inside voices, let’s get loud. And inventive. And plaster the world with wisecracks ;o)


          1. Before you go getting all winded with excitement and anticipation, keep in mind that mostly the world appears to be over-stuffed with those who are uninformed, unsophisticated, and couldn’t be bothered with anything more than 2 syllable words. Just a word of caution prior to your creating unfounded expectations…Cheers!


  6. What a worthy cause! I’ve passed this on to a local group interested in Exploring The English Language (ETHEL). I’m sure it will happify them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣 Awesome, but I hope it does more than happify. I’m hoping for imparadised! 😆


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