On January 9, 2016, SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS debuted at NA Confidential. The very first installment set the tone for the series: Autodidacticism ... and a biography of the poet Ezra Pound. The column hasn't missed a week since then, and page views have tripled since the inception. You see ...
Thankfully, even if one toils for the Genius of the Flood Plain, a healthy vocabulary isn't about intimidation through erudition. Not at all. Rather, it's about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one's pay grade or station in life.
In ascending order, here are the Top Six posts of the year, according to Blogger's page view metric.
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: 20 cherished ways to say "you’re fired."
Personally, I prefer old standbys like canned, sacked, axed and shit-canned, but the story is here, and you can decide for yourself.
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Prediction or prophecy?
The bold red words in the preceding paragraph were written last Wednesday, two days before an 83-year-old woman crossing the street was struck by a woman driving a truck, and died the next day of her injuries.
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Midden.
Our word today is midden, a noun that refers to a dunghill or refuse heap. Synonyms include muckheap, muckhill and dunghill. Middens are especially cherished by archaeologists, who learn about the past by analyzing waste.
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Detritus, with a nod toward the charnel house.
“Our world, like a charnel-house, is strewn with the detritus of dead epochs.”
― Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Sardonic.
The adjective "sardonic" is a perennial favorite, and one that lies very close to the front of any responsible New Gahanian resident's Book of How to Cope.
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Camarilla, though stopping short of Camarillo Brillo.
"Citizens thought these public works projects were meant to improve fundamental infrastructure, but unfortunately, they were concocted by a shadowy municipal camarilla, which sought little more than to wet its collective beak in the largess."
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Fun with British phrases.
This week, something sure to baffle the Disney devotees. You must click through to read them all, though number three is provided; the American variant probably is "all hat, no cattle." Can you think of any local examples of trouserlessness?
SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Sycophant.
Today's word is sycophant, one of my personal favorites. Note the preferred pronunciation: SICK-uh-funt, or thereabouts. At the same time, you'll occasionally encounter a PSYCHO-funt, but usually only at Democratic Party costume balls.