I liked them both. Feckless was so apropos.
Oh, I loved that one as well!!!! I think I didn't comment on it because I was, well, rather sleepy myself during the read back.
I have a lovely collection of essays by Anne Fadiman called Ex Libris, which I adore The essay "The Joy of Sesquipedalians" is about a quiz made of the 22 words she (as someone with a very good vocabulary) did NOT know in a book she was reading (The Tiger in the House by Carl Van Vechten, written in the 1920s). Her brother knew 9, her father knew 12.
How many do you guys know (WITHOUT looking them up)?
(I only knew three when I read this.)
- Ant Farm
(edit: OMG, BYC autocorrected her last name to "Radioman"!)
I've only ever heard a few and knew none well enough to comfortably use them in a sentence.
Most are only in the unabridged dictionary or the new lexicon.
I love the English language but when one writes, they are only supposed to use words and expressions at the 5th grade level so the majority of one's audience will understand. SAD!
Has anyone played the game 'Balderdash'? There are cards with very obscure actual words that most people wouldn't be familiar with that one player reads and everyone has to write down a definition of the word. The one reader then reads all the definitions along with the real one and people vote for the correct definition. The person with the most votes for their bogus definition wins.
It is one of the most fun games I've played. The more players the better. Too few and people will see a trend in answers and be able to identify who wrote them.
She got these words from a book written in the 1920s - the point the essayist (Anne Fadiman) was making was about the vocabulary used in that era vs. now - this was just a book about cats, and the author didn't expect anything else of the reader except that they were an average reader interested in cats, and the reader was fully expected to know these words. She was making the same point you are - the level expected of an average reader now. All of that being said, a word needs to be useful to be used, and if it is used, it will be remembered. I like $10 words, but mostly ones that are interesting and useful.
I looked them all up at the time, and STILL don't remember what most of them mean even after doing that (except retromingent - that was kinda gross...). That being said, I liked mephitic (autocorrect made it into mephitis above). It means stinky.
- Ant Farm