June 15, 2009

"If The New York Times ever strikes you as an abstruse glut of antediluvian perorations..."

"... if the newspaper’s profligacy of neologisms and shibboleths ever set off apoplectic paroxysms in you, if it all seems a bit recondite, here’s a reason to be sanguine: The Times has great data on the words that send readers in search of a dictionary."

(Via Metafilter.)


BJK said...

...before Ann revises the headline, allow me to present my recommendation:

" f the New York Times..."

A simple truncation expresses things most succinctly, does it not?

rhhardin said...

Everybody can have it. The Quintessential Dictionary is a collection of a few hundred words that, once memorized, allow you to read all of W.F.Buckley without looking anything up.

I put them on flash cards, myself, back in the early 80s.

The NYT is a piece of cake with it.

Chip Ahoy said...

BJK, exactly.

None of those words are difficult or obscure. I've seen them all repeatedly right here, well, except for the heat-related one, phlogiston, or whatever it was. Even through the comments, leave it to a self-proclaimed MENSA to add something dull.

Did you know that mensa means stupid in Spanish? Ha ha ha.

Steve Reynolds said...

An Abtruse Glut of Antediluvian Perorations.

I liked their second album best, clearly one of the best Prog Rock albums of 1974. Great cover art too.

MadisonMan said...

Phlogiston is well-known to central Pennsylvanians, since the champion of it, indeed maybe its last champion, at one time lived along the Susquehanna.

rhhardin said...

Phlogiston was a reification error, is all. ``The cause of fire'' was taken to be a thing, and the search for it commenced.

It's like ``power,'' another reification error is social critical theory.

Lem said...

Oh common.

If the NYT were antediluvian they wouldn’t have put up that big mast atop their building.

You owe the NYT an apology Althouse.

(you think they’ll get it? – it doesn’t matter, it’s a tough crowd remember?)

Salamandyr said...

Wake me when they use squamous.

MadisonMan said...

I put them on flash cards, myself, back in the early 80s.

I write them down in a little notebook given to me by my weird Auntie (who is a spitting image of Roz Russell). She explains them to me.

Treacle said...

If I were the Times, I would turn this into a feature and call it "The Dictionary" or something else pithy and short (maybe just "The Dic"?). And in this feature, I would be sure to use the words "thoughtful" and "sophisticated" a lot in describing the Times' own work.

As far as new words I'd like to see worked into the Times: "felching".

Chip Ahoy said...

See? There ya go. That proves my point, now I've even seen phlogiston right here.

Quintessential is itself an interesting word. The fifth essential. I've always wondered why the accent shifts from the noun form to the adjective form.


JackOfClubs said...

I question whether "antediluvian" is the right word in this context. The Flood came before the Tower of Babel, so presumably their perorations were more generally comprehensible, yes?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Did you know that mensa means stupid in Spanish? Ha ha ha.

Actually tonto is stupid or fool in Spanish. The Lone Ranger was kind of a condescending prick...doncha think?

BJM said...

@BJK... and the donkeys they rode in on.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes, Dust Bunny, he was a condescending prick. And if Zoro was such a fox why would he make himself look like a raccoon with a mask? He should have named himself Mapache instead.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And Kimosabe was probable Tonto getting back at the Lone Ranger by saying

"Que no sabes"...calling the Lone Ranger a know nothing.

I don't think their working relationship was all it was cracked up to be.

Lem said...

Did you know that mensa means stupid in Spanish? Ha ha ha.

Actually tonto is stupid or fool in Spanish

They are both colloquials.
Menso/a is slow.
Tonto/a is extremely naïve.

ricpic said...

With words over wrought where plain clear speech would do
The Times purposely smokescreens the view of the true.

scinfinity said...

Funny, the true sign of brilliance is to take difficult and complex ideas and make them easily understandable.

Using big words when small ones work as well is simply trying to cover up a self-perceived lack of intellect.

rhhardin said...

Big words are good for trouble reports.

traditionalguy said...

Antediluvian is my favorite word. It's never used anymore, which is sad. (That could be a great commenter's handle). The next Flood cometh. We need to hear some antediluvian thinking about how to ride it out. Even antebellum seems mild compaired to antediluvian.

mccullough said...

The Times, at times, seems sesquipedalian.

Then, again, aren't we all.

Chris said...

Until they remove them from the SAT, they are fair game in a newspaper.

Deb said...

"The Times, at times, seems sesquipedalian. "

... and supercilious.