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23 Responses to Buy Cialis Without Prescription

  1. Art Plotnik August 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I’ll give Pompous Ass Words the benefit of the doubt, that inkhorn words sometimes add nothing to expressiveness, but I recoil at any approach that limits the possibilities of language, in all its eloquent, floral, and funky varieties. It’s bad enough our language of appraisal is down to a dichotomy of “awesome” or “sucks,” or a “like” button. Fancy words can deliver the delights of sound, texture, nuance, and amusing associations—even if they essentially have the same dictionary meaning as a so-called plain word. Are we to be suspect and subversive if we take risks with language, going for the unexpected locution? Let’s hope not.

  2. Constance Hale August 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Thanks for this comment, Art, and you know I agree with you wholeheartedly on, first, always seeking the most precise word possible; second, seeking nuance, connotation, texture; third, striving to make music, which often means taking a fancy word that has just the right number of beats, or just the right vowel sounds, or consonants that allow for alliteration.

    Not to split hairs, but isn’t there a different between pompous and fancy? Fejes’s example of “risible” is a good one–unless it adds the right music or varies the diction, I don’t think it’s better than “laughable.” Just as “domicile” is not better than “home” unless there is something other than meaning to recommend it.

    Meantime, for anyone reading this, check out Art’s book, “Better Than Great: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives,” which makes a terrific case for the elegant (and precise) variation! It’s way too enjoyable and well-written to be pompous!

  3. Jean Carrière October 9, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Hi Constance;
    To a francophone the word “risible” would not seem pompous and it has the same meaning in French as in English. However, the other day, I came across the word “equitation”. Now there’s a word that should not be used with a western saddle.

  4. John Pearce February 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    I’m coming to this late, apologies.

    I saw the “risible” in Dowd’s column and though it was just the right touch. Superficially the word has the same meaning as “laughable” but it lacks the sense of ludicrousness embedded in “laughable”.

  5. bill vanson March 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    A favorite of mine is “quotidian” Usually unnecessary’ to mean “ordinary”

  6. Constance Hale March 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I love the word because it makes me feel Frenchy (“quotidien” is a pretty ordinary word in Paris, I think, and has more meanings than our English equivalent), but you are right. And you’d lose many readers or listeners by using it….

  7. Benjamin Reeve March 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I stumbled upon this site and this blog entry from the “Drafts” section of the NY times on the net. Seeing the March 24, 2012 entry above, I couldn’t help myself from writing to suggest that “Pompous Ass” words aren’t really the problem described here. “Pants” are different from “trousers,” even though both words describe essentially similar articles of clothing. “Risible” doesn’t mean quite the same thing as “laughable.” (In typical modern usage, inane things that people say, for example, are more often and readily called “laughable,” whereas situations they get themselves into tend to get labeled “risible.”) The real Pompous Ass Words are not complicated or rare; they are not synonyms that better place meaning. They are “utilize” when substituted for “use,” “home” substituted for “house” in selling real estate, “myself” substituted for “me,” “I” substituted for “me” as a grammatical object … and so forth.

  8. Connie Hale March 25, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Benjamin, you have really hit the nail on the head. When a word does add a nuance, or a degree of precision, we shouldn’t scuttle it just because it’s rare.

    That said, it’s important to keep the audience in mind, because communication is the object, and communication is a two-way street. It’s also important to keep tone in mind–some words just make us seem formal, prissy, uppity. Words should always be considered for how they contribute to tone.

    Words that are abstract, colorless, or hijacked unnecessarily from another category of speech are the worst culprit: “impact” as a verb for example, or all those silly -ize verbs, including “utilize,” or just examples of someone trying to be hypercorrect (“myself” is a good example; another is “whom” when “who” is correct).

    I hope others will comment and add more of this kind of truly wrongheaded word.

  9. Jonny H March 25, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    I know I’m coming to this conversation late, but it is surprising to me that what we are talking about is condemning people for using a vocabulary that extends beyond the 8th grade. Yes, risible could be substituted with laughable, but why should it be? Why should we be holding public figures – journalists like Maureen Dowd are arguably doing more than reporting on local daily weather and traffic – to some arbitrary level of simplistic language in order to avoid sending Mr. Fejes to his fearsome dictionary?

    So he has to look up a word on occasion? Does that give him a pass to draw a list of words that “everyone should know and never use?” Even setting aside the fact that in many cases, different words might have subtlety, inflection, and nuance, why should we eliminate certain words? Is it really that awful to learn something new?

    Cutting away chunks of our available language serves absolutely no one – it only brings the level of intelligent conversation down. To quote Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee, “Language is a poor enough means of communication as it is. We we ought to use all the words we’ve got. Besides, there are damned few words that everybody understands.”

  10. Jonny H March 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I would also point out that in the same article that she uses “risible” (NYT, August 19, 1998), she uses the word “fealty.” She could have used loyalty, since they are identical words, right? Except that fealty implies a great deal more, especially given the context. And she uses the term “Hobson’s choice,” which I admit I had to look up. But I am also able to admit that, having looked up “Hobson’s Choice,” I have a better understanding of Dowds essay.

  11. Tim Chambers April 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I ran across the word “shitty” five times on the first page of a published novel touted by the former literary agent, Nathan Bransford. Perhaps that is one reason former is applied to his lofty title.

  12. Constance Hale April 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Hmmm. I don’t mind people critiquing pieces of writing here, or a particular writer’s use of words, but Tim Chambers’s comment uses this area to malign an agent, whose job it is to “tout” a novel. That doesn’t sit right with me. More importantly, the comment doesn’t tell us why the repetition of “shitty” (certainly not a pompous ass word) doesn’t work. Is it repeated out of laziness? Is it gratuitous profanity? Is it something else? Without knowing the novel, the context, the writer, the tone, or the treatment, I can’t tell why it deserves censure.

    I’m going to keep this comment here for now, in the interest of encouraging debate, but I would like to remind commenters that the purpose of this site is to explore the dimensions of language and the craft of writing, not to dis any individual.

  13. steve e April 4, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    Isn’t there just the right morsel of irony in the use of “quotidian” for “ordinary”? And where is the wordsmith who doesn’t feast on verbal irony?

  14. David K April 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Maybe someone should start an antipodal site: Quotidian-Ass Words…

  15. Scott S April 14, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I’m always delighted when I have to look up a word: it’s wonderful for building vocabulary, and if you follow a word’s etymology you gain an insight into where words come from, and how they’ve evolved.

  16. Constance Hale April 14, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I salute Scott S’s attitude. In high school I had the incentive to look up new words because I wanted to increase my SAT scores. Not sure whether that worked, but it put me in the habit.

    Today, I love coming across a new word in reading and trying to decode it. And I love dictionaries and consulting more than one for different nuances, etymology, etc.

    So, yes, long live a rich lexicon! But still, writers should always be balancing precision with sound, rhythm, and … that all important audience.

  17. bebelatela April 17, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    There’s a little bit of “grandeur” in each of us, so the occasional pompous word or phrase in inevitable. As with all powerful forces, I believe in moderation…. usually!

  18. theabbess April 17, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Just discovered you through the NYTs.. Above,in your 8.11 post you say “Hear, hear…” I groan every time I see “Here, here..”
    I also keep track of all the great words I have to look up, though I don’t get to use them much. Huzzah for this forum!

  19. Abe Guler April 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    I am reformed: I shall seek and employ callipygian words. From this day forward no word of mine shall wear XXXL green polyester pants.

  20. Charlotte May 2, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    We should all know the word “risible” if we’ve seen the Monty Python movie, Life of Brian. I bet you Maureen Dowd saw it and was shouting it out to that likely audience….

    Also her use of the word “fealty” adds a certain sense and color we might not get otherwise.

    Is our NY Times-reading children acing the SAT?

  21. Michael Goldhaber May 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Mr. Fejes relies on online dictionary definitions, which are too short to permit subtle distinctions.I don’t understand most of the words in his list to be identical to the presumed synonyms he cites. “Grand guignol,” for instance is not all equal to sensational or dramatic; it is a particular style of over-emotional and generally horror-filled drama.

    Judging by the passages he cites, Fejes seems actually to be complaining about over-writing or just-plain bad writing rather than proper use of these often-suitable words.

  22. Ken Kinderman May 16, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I was a youngster collecting my first uniform from an Army supply sergeant. I asked for certain item, size 34 please. He corrected me: “Your sister wears pants, you wear trousers.” Never made that mistake again, but I keep it to myself.

  23. Mackenzie Kelly July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    My PAW word is paradigm. My Phd son had to define it for me -Model. This is a poor entry for PAW but I am old and just remembered paradigm after three days of searching and I don’t want to forget it again.

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