Lost words

I've been reading a lot lately.

I've recently found myself diving into books by authors like Emily Herman, C.S. Lewis, and George MacDonald, as well as treasures like "The Valley of Vision."

These books have helped me reencounter the beauty and substance of some lost words in the English language.

While it's true that the language used in these books can sometimes make them difficult to understand, the depth of meaning conveyed by the authors' grasp of the language adds a richness to their work.

Let's face it, we all tend to use the same everyday words in our conversations and writing.

But there's a whole world of underused and nearly forgotten words out there that can add a touch of elegance and nuance to our communication.

Words like "perspicacious," which means having a ready insight into and understanding of things, or "ephemeral," meaning lasting for a very short time, evoke a richness that is hard to find in our day-to-day language.

Reading these older books has been like going on a treasure hunt, rediscovering words that not only sound beautiful, but also carry deep meanings.

Take "ineffable" for instance.

It describes something that is too great or extreme to be expressed in words.

How often do we experience emotions or thoughts that defy description, and then struggle to find the right word to convey them?

It's a reminder that our language is full of hidden gems, waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated.

One of the things that struck me about these authors is their ability to convey subtleties and nuanced meaning with their words.

Consider "mellifluous," for example.

It describes a sound that is sweet and smooth, pleasing to hear.

When you come across a word like this in an old book, it's almost impossible not to appreciate it - the way you might appreciate the work of a craftsman, shaped with great care and skill.

Even words that seem negative can have their own charm.

"Perfidious," which means deceitful and untrustworthy, has an almost poetic sound to it. Or "quixotic," which describes someone who is exceedingly idealistic and impractical. These words, while describing less-than-desirable traits, still manage to captivate us with their inherent beauty.

It's fascinating to think about how the authors of classic works had such a masterful command of language, using rare and powerful words to convey complex ideas and emotions.

So what about you?

Why not rediscover the world of classic literature and explore the beauty of these lost words for yourself?

There's something magical about reading a passage and having to pause for a minute to look up an unfamiliar word, or rediscovering an old favorite that perfectly conveys a feeling or thought you've struggled to articulate.

So go ahead, pick up an old book and let it whisk you away... And in the process, reacquaint yourself with the depth and beauty of the English language.

Happy reading!

Mark Armstrong

Mark Armstrong

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