Wondrous Words Wednesday – April 22, 2009

wondrouswordswednesday Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion. The idea is for bloggers to post about the unfamiliar words they have encountered in their reading the past week. Click over to read other book bloggers’ Wondrous Words, and leave a link to your post of some Wondrous Words of your own.

Two of my words this week come from the poem A Good List” by Brad Leithauser. I received this poem in my e-mail box as part of National Poetry Month. Click the title to read the whole thing; it’s fabulous.

mulct: 1: to punish by a fine; 2 a: to defraud especially of money : swindle b: to obtain by fraud, duress, or theft

usufruct: the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another

Never mulcted—so far as I understand the term.
Or unjustly usufructed.

My last word comes from Housekeeping vs. the Dirt, Nick Hornby’s book of columns from “The Believer.”

poetaster: an inferior poet

You lot are probably all familiar with the Abbe Gauchat, the Theatines, the Jansenists, and the literary criticism of Elie-Catherine Freron, but I’m afraid I found myself flicking frantically between the text and the footnotes at the end; I was unhappily reminded of the time I had to spend at school reading Alexander Pope’s equally mordant attacks on poetasters and so forth. ~ p. 89

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11 Responses to Wondrous Words Wednesday – April 22, 2009

  1. Kathy says:

    I sometimes wonder how authors find words like those in order to use them. Your words this week are fantastic! Thanks for playing along.

  2. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    Good words!

  3. Stephanie says:

    I remember needing to look up 1-2 words a sentence reading Poe, but I haven’t had to do that for years (though I almost looked up the word “runcible” this morning before I realized it was just a nonsense word courtesy of Edward Lear).

    Perhaps I should dust off Poe and reinvigorate my humility.

  4. Word Lily
    Twitter: Wordlily
    says:

    Good words!

  5. Margot says:

    I like poetasters. I had to spend a lot of time reading and memorizing poetasters as a child. Great meme, isn’t it.

  6. Poetry does have new words, does it not? I too found one thus!

    Wondrous Words Wednesday

  7. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies
    says:

    Kathy – thanks for hosting!

    Beth – thanks. :)

    Stephanie – ah, the runcible spoon!

    Lily -thanks!

    Margot – yes, it’s a wonderful meme – I’m remembering many more words because I take the time to write them down.

    Gautami – I have so enjoyed poems in my e-mail box this month.

  8. Phyl says:

    Wow, what wonderful words! The first two were absolutely strange to me, and the third one I’d heard of, but now I discover I had never really known what it meant. Excellent words! Real brain-stretchers.

    Meanwhile, mine are here.

  9. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies
    says:

    Phyl – I love having my brain stretched!

  10. Ha, that’s funny, as soon as I read that poem, I thought of this meme! I’d come across usufruct before and knew it was a legal term, but couldn’t have told you what it meant. The others are completely new to me.

  11. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies
    says:

    Avis – yep, this poem was ready-made for Wondrous Words!

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