Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

The Verbiage Meme


Today I’m lifting Zia’s word meme. It’s deceptive, because it looks quick and easy, but actually took me quite a while.

A word that describes me is:


My favourite word is:

Peripatetic. Ah, travel, philosophy, freedom.

My least favourite word is:

Moist. Sounds so damp and mouldy. Where worms might be found.

Use these two words in a sentence:

The backpacker found that her peripatetic life often left her feeling moist in the armpits.

A word I have to think twice about pronouncing is:

Halcyon. I always want to say halycon.

Dictionaries. Printed or online?

I love browsing a printed dictionary. The only online dictionary I’ve used is http://www.leo.dict, which is a great English-German dictionary.

A word whose meaning I cannot seem to retain no matter how many times I look it up is …


Open a dictionary to a random page and find a word you don’t know. Post the word and its meaning.

Scintilla. n. Rare. A minute amount; hint, trace or particle.

Use the word and the word you can never remember in a sentence.

The eponymous Smith of Smithfields demonstrated not a scintilla of wit nor insight when asked to explain how the park came to be named after his family.

One of the most overused words in my area of work/study is …

Impact. As verb, as noun, and soon to be seen on software documentation near you as an adverb, she mentioned impactfully.

Now I tag the lot of you. Get your clever noses out of those books, and let’s get wordy.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

17 thoughts on “The Verbiage Meme

  1. I wonder where scintillating comes from, since it seems to have no link with scintilla.

    I overuse anyway, really and actually. In my field of work, I think people overuse: effectively, problematically, curiously… adverbs, rather than adjectives, as though we all learnt not to abuse adjectives but never learnt about adverbs…

  2. Thanks for the afternoon laugh. Your sentences had me cackling aloud–so loud the dog jumped. Moist armpits indeed!

  3. I love printed dictionaries and used to confound my family by sitting down to read them, page by scintillating page. Speaking of which, scintillating does have its roots in the Latin scintilla, meaning “particle of fire, spark, glittering speck, atom”. It’s interesting to see how the definition has changed, even if only slightly.

    I’m off to file this meme away for future reference and use.

    Great answers Charlotte.

  4. Pingback: A Was Alarmed » Blog Archive » Wordy Meme

  5. I’ve joined in too! Whoops, it looks as if I pinged you! I can’t keep up with myself.

    I like the eponymous Smith of Smithfields, he sounds like an interesting character to write a story about.

  6. I decline the tag, but would agree that “moist” is a tough word to like. In my circles, it always rises to the top of “hated words” in discussions of language. In fact, maybe I recall this discussion from years gone by with you?

  7. Yes, Mr Funky, I think moist was an innocent little word until I met you. It is all entirely your fault. However, thanks for providing me with the material.

  8. i love printe dictionaries too – and i love my thesaurus as well…both sit on my desk and are as loved as any books i happen to own. like you i only turn to the internet to help with translation. this is a fun meme!

  9. I think there’s a little dictionary appreciation society evolving here … I suspected this would bring out latent wordiness. Thanks Zia, for inventing a great meme.

  10. I’m more inclined to go with the online resources myself but, given that it’s almost exclusively for the purpose of finding or verifying a translation or spelling, I generally just Google my word and skim the results.

    However, I have nothing against printed dictionaries if one is close at hand. And of course they’re multifaceted. One of them once entertained a bored preschooler for me – she sat behind me counting the pages one day, reaching 200 before moving on to other pursuits.

    The online ones are also most decidedly useless when it comes to propping up a digital camera for a timed photo!

  11. I’m a printed dictionary fan too. Turning pages and coming across other words on the way to your definition is a plus. I’ve got two by the computer, useful for looking up words that my son has just invented and had passed by a computer scrabble game.

    Like your spinning words byline.

    By the way Charlotte’s Web has just come out as a movie here. We’re debating whether to take the kids to it – our last cinema outing had me walking the mall with youngest while my husband watched Madagascar with the other two.

  12. Kit, I believe it’s a tearjerker, so if you go, pack your tissues!

  13. I’ll consider myself tagged…Curiously, impact was a word we included in our core values when the organization I work for was putting together one of those branding positioning statements. Or rather “Making an impact” or “Impactful” were but I really, really wanted single words only. Consequence? Two different lists of brand values and me having to live with my boss muttering “That’s not a word” to this day.

  14. This is really rather good – your sentences are fab! I think I shall be unable to resist having a go myself….

  15. You know, I used to love hearing a chocolate cake described as ‘moist’ but I haven’t been able to since reading that it was your least favourite word.

    Aargh! Anyway, just wanted to let you know I played to.

  16. Impact, I hate it too, thanks for clarifying how hateful a word it is – especially when used as a verb. Yuk-ee.
    But Moist? I love it! My hubby calls it ‘moisty’ because that is even damper than just plain old ‘moist’..

  17. Pingback: Verbosity « White Thoughts

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