Wednesday 21 December 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday 21/12/11

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.  

This week's first word comes from an article by Amanda Hooton "Plug Me In" in the Good Weekend 10/11/11.

1. Moue

And, as we all know, there is nothing so ageing (apart from a really terrible haircut, or wearing black too close to your face) as making a moue with your mouth.

i) A small grimace; a pout.

The Weekend Australian's Books of the Year (Part 1) was also a source for wordy fun- actually all words that I recognised, but that I didn't really understand.

2. Inchoate

In its arrested, inchoate, David Foster Wallace's The Pale King was not so much a novel as a fictional artefact, but the chance to study his teeming mind wrestle with a work unfinished and perhaps unfinishable was captivating.

i) Just beginning; incipient
ii) undeveloped; immature; rudimentary
iii) (Law) (of a legal document, promissory note, etc) in an uncompleted state; not yet made specific or valid

3. Scabrous (adjective)

Also a scabrous satirical poem about American politics, As Long as It is Big (2005),  by John Bricuth.

i) Roughened because of small projections; scaly
ii) Indelicate, indecent, or salacious
ii) Difficult to deal with; knotty

4. Apogee

In this way, the apogee of my year's words combined Michael Ondaatje's novel The Cat's Table, Joan Didion's memoir Blue Nights and W.G. Sebald's 2002 masterwork Austerlitz: a triptych of memory, remembrance and the tricky nexus between recall and creativity.

i) The farthest or highest point; the apex. (Clearly it's this first defintion, but the other definitions are interesting too).

ii) The point in the orbit of the moon or of an artificial satellite most distant from the centre of the earth
iii) The point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited.


bermudaonion said...

I knew what moue meant but I've never been exactly sure how to pronounce it - I'm going to look that up now. Thanks for playing along!

Annie said...

Like you, I knew this words (but not the second one) but I'd be unable to say exactly what an apogee was.
Moue is a French word : I'll be unable to pronounce it in English !

Margot said...

Inchoate and apogee are two words I've seen but couldn't possibly tell you what they mean. Until I started playing Wondrojs Words every week I would just skip over those words.

In case I don't have a chance to say it later this week, I want to wish a very happy Christmas to you and your family. I hope the day brings joy.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of these, learned three new ones, thanks! for sharing.

Lisa said...

I was familiar with those words, but it's a strange group when you take them all together. Very interesting!

My words are here.

Lady In Read said...

knew apogee and moue but not the others.. love the words and usage..

Hannah said...


It's happened. It's finally happened. I KNOW THEM ALL. Oh my, oh my. This sense of pride is the best Christmas present ever, Louise! Thank you.

Louise said...

YAY. Glad it's such a perfectly timed Christmas present for you Hannah. Impressive knowledge- in one so young too!