Friday, February 10, 2012

Misleading Words

I admit it—I love words.

I loved them even before I became a writer. During graduate school, I took a linguistics class required for my degree. My professor told me I should jump ship on education and study linguistics. It was tempting, because I found it fascinating.

Words are funny things, though. They don't always do what you expect.

Take phlebotomy for example. It's fun to say. Go ahead, try it. But unless you have a weird fetish for blood-letting (vampires, anyone?), there's nothing else about the word that's much fun.

Then there's one of my favorites: crapulous. Despite what my spell-check is telling me, it's an actual word, but it doesn't mean what you might guess. It's characterized by excess in drinking or eating.

Pop Quiz: Can anyone tell me (without internet or dictionary cheating) what a clowder is?

1 comment:

E.B. Black said...

Ironically, somehow, this post left me speechless.