Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jargon & Lingo, Alive Alive-O

There's a lovely little piece in the New York Times today about a life of learning new vocabulary and the pleasure of discovering the meanings of trade words, sporting terms (in this case, sailing), and lingo of that sort. Some people complain about jargon, but there's a certain kind of joy to enhancing your vocabulary for clarity and more effective discussion. (It's the use of jargon to intimidate people through obfuscation that I find mean-spirited.) The author's name alone drives the imagination: Verlyn Klinkenborg, my word! (See the article here.)

So I started just conjuring some of the words that I'd learned from various hobbies, classes, and esoteric ephemera upon which I've stumbled, and there are some that I just love -- and some that sound vaguely unpleasant. I think I'll fling a couple in here occasionally. Hazard a guess at their meaning if you'd like (more fun than looking 'em up, at least at first), and leave your guess in the comments. If you have any spare oddball words to drop in, toss 'em in the comments too, and maybe I'll put them in the forefront for future commentary.

Here are a couple of terms I like:

Umbrella swift

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