Word Daily continues to provide me with fun words to add to my vocabulary. I am familiar with many of them, but having them hit me in the face via email reveals a character that strikes me as interesting or humorous. For instance, punctilious: showing great attention to detail or correct behavior. Its similarity to punctuation is notable. In both cases, I imagine a device punching paper. As you speak the word, you punch the air with the articulation.
A Latin phrase, felix culpa: an apparent error or disaster with happy consequences. Who doesn’t image Felix the Cat, that cartoon character with the perpetual smile? Is that where the name Felix originated?
Here’s a favorite: chinwag: a chat, or have a chat. Brings to mind the double chins of old people flapping in conversation. Not mine, of course. Along that line, susurrus: whispering, murmuring, or rustling. The similarity to shhhh is obvious. When speaking that word, I would have a tendency to lower my voice.
Semiquaver is familiar, being a music term. It refers to a sixteenth note which is very short in duration. It calls up quivering, doesn’t it?
What can I do with these?
The chinwagging in the front row disrupted the normally punctilious meeting. They insisted on the adoption of a theme song characterized by runs of semiquavers. The susurrus in the room revealed opposition to the plan. Determined to find a felix culpa, everyone agreed on an ostinato to balance the energetic melody.