I think one of my New Year's resolutions in 2004 was to improve my vocabulary. Thus, while I had long received word-a-day emails from Wordsmith and Merriam-Webster, I just that year set up a folder in my email account called Words. Every time a word that I thought could be useful in my writing or in insults hurled during revenge fantasies, I moved it into that folder. And then, of course, I forgot about it. I now have 405 words in there, only a few of which have actually been used in my writing. So I don't think we can call this resolution a success.

To try to make some progress (a few years late), I present to you a few randomly selected words from said folder. You literati out there probably know and employ them all already, but perhaps a wandering philistine will come upon this page and be enlightened.

operose (OP-uh-roas) adjective 1. Tedious; diligent. 2. Requiring great effort.

haptic \HAP-tik\ adjective *1 : relating to or based on the sense of touch 2 : characterized by a predilection for the sense of touch

esprit d'escalier (e-SPREE des-kal-i-YE) noun, also esprit de l'escalier Thinking of a witty remark too late; hindsight wit or afterwit. Also such a remark.

callithump \KAL-uh-thump\ noun : a noisy boisterous band or parade

caliginous (kuh-LIJ-uh-nuhs) adjective Dark, gloomy, obscure, misty.

marplot \MAHR-plaht\ noun : one who frustrates or ruins a plan or undertaking by meddling

sortilege (SOR-tl-ij) noun 1. Divination by drawing lots. 2. Sorcery; magic.

velleity (vuh-LEE-i-tee) noun Volition at its faintest.

parrhesia (puh-REEZ-i-uh) noun 1. Boldness of speech. 2. The practice of asking forgiveness before speaking in this manner.

nival (NY-vuhl) adjective Of, growing in, or relating to, snow.

sequacious \sih-KWAY-shus\ adjective : intellectually servile

peneplain (PEE-nuh-playn, pee-nuh-PLAYN) noun An area of nearly flat, featureless land formed by a long period of erosion.

That takes us up to the end of 2005. Since there's still nearly a week of NaBloPoMo, a random assortment of the randomly liked words of 2006 and 2007 may appear in this space soon.

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