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#213930 - 01/11/14 10:40 AM What does this quote mean?
momi1234 Offline

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 12
OBSOLETE, adj. No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words. A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer. Indeed, a writer's attitude toward "obsolete" words is as true a measure of his literary ability as anything except the character of his work. A dictionary of obsolete and obsolescent words would not only be singularly rich in strong and sweet parts of speech; it would add large possessions to the vocabulary of every competent writer who might not happen to be a competent reader.

What do you think it means?
This is from the Devil's dictionary.

Especially the last sentence.

#213931 - 01/11/14 11:20 AM Re: What does this quote mean? [Re: momi1234]
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
you must have a predilection for irony.

here is a bit of good advice that I found:

You should use obsolete or archaic words when:

1 No other word will serve (as in a scholarly piece about history or linguistics, for example).

2 You want to confuse your audience or make them laugh.

3 You want to sound pretentious or pedantic.

Note: this is hard advice for me to pass on, as I have an entire web site based on obscure, abstruse and/or recondite words, which often run to obsolete and archaic extremes.

#213935 - 01/11/14 06:29 PM Re: What does this quote mean? [Re: tsuwm]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil's Dictionary, was noted for his acerbic definitions. Another example:

Originally Posted By: Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary
(n.) A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

#213969 - 01/15/14 04:16 AM Re: What does this quote mean? [Re: momi1234]
momi1234 Offline

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 12
Thank you.


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