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Word Arsenal 5

I take no pleasure in delivering this nasty little word to you. Actually it’s not so little – do the Germans have any words under 13 letters? – but it is in rather poor taste. It’s a deviant word, really. Downright sadistic. But war is a messy business, and we can’t stand by watching the other buggers enrich uranium without cooking some up ourselves. Unless they don’t know what they’re doing, of course. In that case it might be fun to watch.

Okay, okay, on with it. Word number 5 is: (more…)

Word Arsenal 4

It’s round four in the word war – time to break out the big guns. It’s all about superior firepoAnimals-Squirrels-Bazooka-485x728wer in this installment. Feeling like that first guy who brought a gun to a sword fight, or a cannon to a castle wall. This word is like having a bazooka on your shoulder when the savages are charging on horseback. You feel pretty good about your chances, I think, calm, unperturbed by the wild ululations of the painted-faced hordes. You watch with mild amusement, disdain, even, as they raise their spears and shake fists at you, and then… fwoosh! Splat. Horse bits raining down, a fine red mist in the air.

That’s what this word is all about: (more…)

Word Arsenal 3

It’s time to fight dirty. No, we’re not going to sucker-punch or pull the proverbial hockey-jersey over anyone’s head. Nothing like that. This will be much more fun. More arousing.

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We all need a word or two like this in our arsenal: a word to tickle our tongues, to savor; a quadrisyllabic, orgasmic firecracker of a word; a word so fun to say it’s banned in 43 States. (more…)

Word Arsenal 2

To Arms!

The second installment in our lexicographical armory comes from fellow blogger and logophile, John Robin, who suggested a few doozies in Word Arsenal 1.  Many thanks John!


One in particular caught my fancy, for its unassuming I’m-not-trying-to-impress-you-ness (is there a word for that?), for the way it sneaks up on you, its shiftiness. It’s a big word in a small package, a dagger of a word, stealthy and sharp – they’ll never see this one coming.  (more…)

Word Arsenal 1

Vocabulary is the writer’s sword. Interesting words, when employed properly, arm our prose with creative expression. But like any weapon they should not be wielded without practice, without a measure of competence, as they can just as easily cleave a sentence and leave it bleeding on the page. download


In the Word Arsenal section the goal is to seize new arms, and make them yours. You only retain new words through repetition, through looking them up and using them in a sentence of your own. (more…)