TODAY -

Improving English during lockdown

Free Thinker *



In this lockdown I was reading some old collections from my book shelves. Somewhere Khushwant Singh started talking about boogers .

Actually boogers are the dirty - dried -mucus normally extracted by our fingers from the nose. I really love to read him again and again perhaps because of his unusual sarcastic style or putting things so blunt but honestly.

For instance he wrote about the red bottoms of monkeys. People went bonkers reading that .

While going through books and old clippings like " Know your English "(Hindu) I thought - what about learning some new words or expressions or jargons . Not a bad idea.

I started jotting down many words with meanings . Let me share some of them with you . You know dung beetle is also called dung chafer or tumble bug.

Eunoia is a six letter word and it contains all the vowels ; meaning of eunoia is beautiful thinking or mind. The condition of difficulty to come out of the bed in the morning is called dysania ; it happens mainly on Monday - the beginning of the week.

Normally we are not very fond of those people who believe in messing around and wasting time. Such a person is known as lollygag. Undecipherable handwriting is called griffonage.In other words ineligible handwriting is griffonage.

I will just put the words one after another. The metallic kit used to measure the length and width of feet in a shoe store is called bannock. A bakers dozen consist of thirteen items instead of twelve. Two dozen of sheets of paper is a quire.

The dot over i or j is called title. These are things which we never bother to ponder about.The earthy smell we get after rain is popularly known as petrichor. The lyrics without a meaning in a song is called vocables . Exclamation mark used along with a question mark (?!) is termed as interrobang.

Glabella is the space between the eyebrows. The cry of a newly born baby is called vagitus. It reminds us of the "three idiots when they delivered Virus' daughter's baby ; they were waiting for the cry of the newly born ; finally after a few minutes they got the vagitus ".

The day after tomorrow is called overmorrow. I am not very sure about it ; if you have an inquisitive mind please refer to a dictionary or check with Google Baba. The space between nostrils is called Columella basi. The plastic coating at the end of the shoelace is known as aglet. But we never try to find out.

The feeling of sickness after over eating or drinking is termed as crapulance. The plastic table placed in the middle of a pizza box is called a box tent.The tiny toe or finger is called minimus. The prongs on a fork are tines. The armhole in the clothes where sleeves are sewn is called armscye.

Perhaps we all know what is a pagram ? Pagram is a sentence which contains all the twenty six alphabets at least once . The oldest example is " the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog ".

Another not very popular but easy example of pagram is - " Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs ".

What about this - " the five boxing wizards jump quickly ".

One gentleman from Kerala is very fond of using unusual interesting words like rodomontade which means boastful ( talk or behaviour ).

Lalochezia is nothing but getting emotional satisfaction by using vulgar words. Gonzos are those journalists who indulges in exaggerated or fictionalised style.

We are hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobic, meaning fear of long words.

But what to do my friend is suffering from pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which is a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of fine silica particles.

Thank God it is not COVID pneumonia.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on May 10, 2020.



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