(A friend emailed a list of words that he was sure I didn’t know. He was right. I decided to use them here.)

She held the promise of a petrichor in his barren life.

However, to start anew Thierry had to rid himself of the tattoo on his purlicue. He took out a vial no larger than an aglet, and braced himself, felt his stomach wamble.

The acid burned through his skin and he let out a muffled vagitus. [Naughty, naughty – what are you thinking of?] Thierry closed his eyes tight, triggering phosphenes, and choked on the taste of chanking. [Not a Chinese dish, I assure you] Succumbing to the pain, he feverishly washed the blister with spirit and applied a dab of nurdle. [Yes, sounds gross]

Catching his breath, he fingered the lemniscate that covered the rasceta of his left hand and decided, perhaps another time.

Reciting vocables to distract from the pain, he stepped into the crepuscular rays of the brisk morning.

Love and life, beckoned.

************ Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2014 ************

Succinct words perhaps, but I wonder whether these merely make the

story telling pompous, stunted and help alienate the readers.

What do you reckon?



  1. “However, to start anew Thierry had to rid himself of the tattoo on his purlicue.” Do you have any idea how many nerve endings there are on a purlicue?? Thierry must have been drunk and passed out when they tattooed it! (ruth to tell, I have no idea what a purlicue is, or how it works.) Fun post!

    1. You’re right – he must have been punch drunk! But then again — I once met this lady who had a tattoo in her inner thigh – ouch!

      Don’t get any ideas – she was a swimmer and I met her at a pool 🙂

  2. Lol…fun write Eric..and you’re right there’s a lot of purple in this bit of prose! I think it would be very distracting having to stop and go look them up. Too many obscure words would definately put me off a read…the only word I knew and that because I speak Italian and we have the same word…was crepuscular, though the meaning in Italian would not fit with the context of your write as you state it was a brisk morning …though I could guess at vocables, phosphenes (I actually know this one from a sf book) and vagitus for the same reason. I think the trick to using weird words is to use them sparingly and in a way that the context gives the meaning. Great post, loved it! Have a good one! Georgia.

    1. Thank you, Georgia – I’m impressed that you knew so many words. Well done 🙂

      I had to look up every one of them 🙂

      All good wishes,

  3. Wow, Eric, well done says I… I can understand why they went out of fashion tho’ ,,,, methinks olde english has a better flourish, sound and deed wise, dost thou thinkest? 😀 Prithee sirrah I shall depart hence. xPenx

  4. I would sure need a dictionary to get it all, but funny how you can decipher the meaning out of the context of the sentence. I used to try to do this with words in the Reader’s Digest, but hence, I failed.

  5. Hahahaha… This is “scary”… some serious vocabulary to look up. A trip to my Microsoft word thesaurus didn’t help much. Heading over to google now.

    Nice one, Eric. A brain teaser indeed.

  6. You did a great job, Eric, and I have definitely felt my stomach wamble. Fun word, but not a fun feeling! 🙂 And vagitus has nothing to do with what one could think it does and now I know what it means! My life is complete! 🙂

    This post sure is the opposite of the texting language, which makes me wonder if youth of today are truly learning how to spell, let alone, understanding the proper uses of some words, such as yours, you’re, their, there, they’re, etc…

    Great post, my friend…

    1. Hello Lauren, and thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Wamble and vagitus made your life complete – LOL – that’s a good one.

      You’re right, my friend. I cringe upon seeing ‘there’ used for ‘their’ and similar errors – even by bloggers who purport to be authors.

      However, there are also many youth who utilize all the shortened forms required for text messages but seamlessly switch to ‘proper’ English when writing ‘official’ works. It’s almost as if they use two or (is it) three versions of English – one each for the spoken, for social media and for official writing.

      All good wishes, Lauren and have a great day,

      1. That’s true, I’m sure most are versatile in the language, having the ability to switch back and forth and if that’s the case, then I feel better! 🙂

  7. I don’t know them either, LOL. Ain’t that funny — staring at a group of sentences because they contain certain words that are completely new? More words to discover … Man, English is a vast sea!

    Thanks for sharing this, Eric.

    1. Hello Uzo, my friend,

      You are right. Languages are oceans awaiting discovery – and just when we think we’ve covered the grid – a new layer reveals itself.

      You’re welcome and thank you for your presence here,

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