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April 08 2015

1814 b4ae





I’m so gruntled to have found this


‘Gruntled’ was back-formed from 'disgruntled’ by P.G. Wodehouse in 1938 for one of his best-known lines, in The Code of the Woosters:

He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.

It isn’t a real word, unfortunately; it’s only used rarely, and in jokes. ‘Disgruntled’ is actually formed from ‘dis’ and ‘gruntle’, which is a variant of ‘grunt’, and I think it’s supposed to describe what you do when you’re disgruntled, which is scowl and go ‘mrrurh’.

But! If we choose to discount facts, we can imagine that ‘disgruntled’ really was formed from ‘gruntled’, which would make it one of those poor orphaned words whose parents has died. There are lots of these. If you’re ‘ruthless’, for instance, you’ve run out of ‘ruth’, or pity, as, unfortunately, has the English language. If you’re ‘listless’, you’re out of ‘list’, which is joy or desire. You can still ‘commit’ these days, but you can’t take it back any more, as its opposite, ‘demit’, has gone to the big dictionary in the sky. We’ve kept ‘impede’, but lost ‘expede’. My hair can be and frequently is 'unkempt’, but I don’t get to say it’s 'kempt’ when it isn’t. I can go 'to’ a place, but never 'fro’, unless I go 'to and fro’.

There are many more of these, but perhaps the most sadly neglected word in the language isn’t orphaned at all. It’s an obscure seventeenth-century one called ‘versutiloquent’, which describes someone who uses words craftily—which, by this point, I hope you and I can use to describe ourselves.


This post is incomplete without a mention of How I Met My Wife:

“It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate. I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way. 

I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I’d have to make bones about it since I was travelling cognito. Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn’t be peccable. Only toward and heard-of behavior would do. 

Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung hero were slim. I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion. So I decided not to risk it. But then, all at once, for some apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make heads or tails of. 

I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen. Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated–as if this were something I was great shakes at–and forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times. So, after a terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong givings. 

Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous. Wanting to make only called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself. 

She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savory character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. "What a perfect nomer,” I said, advertently. The conversation become more and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail. But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour. I asked if she wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was committal. We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have given her my love, and she has requited it.“

Reposted bysymultanakolektyw

January 24 2015



Jessica Wise: How Fiction Can Change Reality

Reading and stories can be an escape from real life, a window into another world — but have you ever considered how new fictional experiences might change your perspective on real, everyday life.

When we identify with characters in stories, we are more likely to adopt their behaviours.  Cool beans.  Check out Nedra Weinreich’s blog for more on using storytelling in health promotion.

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Reposted bySchrammelhammelMrCoffeinmybetterworldkonikonikonikonikoniambassadorofdumbgroeschtlNaitliszpikkumyygittimmoejeschge

June 02 2014


July 18 2013


January 19 2012

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