Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Quafftide of Words

Do you remember when spelling and vocabulary were classes? How quaint! In middle school (a decade ago!!!), our vocabulary assignments often went something like this:

Write a sentence for every vocabulary word. Each sentence must use the word in proper context giving some clue as to its meaning. This last stipulation usually led to some of the most pathetically redundant sentences ever written that would make even Dickens roll his eyes at the extensive clauses rolled into one sentence such as this one.

Thus this little beauty using 23 words that didn’t make it to modern English:

“That dress looks absolutely abracadabrant on you,” Charles said. “Simply stunning.”
I twirled in front of the mirror. “Thank you, Charles. But you don’t think I look a little too dressed up?”
“Of course not?”
“Do you think I might be talked about? That people might think I’m a flamfoo?”
He raised his eyes in surprise, utterly blutterbunged. “Of course not!”
“Thank you, Charles. I’m just so used to mobbling these days, you know. Dressing in jeans and a sweatshirt when I’m at home.”
“Just mind Louise doesn’t have someone poosk you.”
“Charles! No one checks for hidden vermin on a lady’s person anymore. Besides, I think this new rabbit scarf is great!.”
 I croodled into the soft fur, rubbing my cheek and finding myself warmer than ever.
            I will look finer than all the outcumlins at the party. No stranger will outshine me tonight, no matter how much Louise thinks foreigners have such style.
            “What was that dear? Your lips were moving, but I could hear nothing.”
            I blushed red, caught at my (unconscious, of course) liplabours.
            Next we kissed our ruly children good night—such good little girls who always do as their told. Then we were at the party. And what a dream! Eattocks as far as the eye could see—cookies, cakes, pastries. And because everyone had a great big drink in his hand it was certainly a great quafftide. Just ten minutes in, Charles, having drank too much wine already, gave an obnoxious kelk.
            “Charles! Manners!”
            “A man’s got to belch sometime, Isabelle!”
My reference
            I watched as the gallywow—he hasn’t been able to bear children since that accident, you remember—and some nizzertit foreigner—really! I didn’t know people of stunted growth dared show their faces in society today—scaum back and forth. The same insincere banter of every year, as always.
            “Look at your physician!” Charles pointed at I saw Elias, my old iatromathematique, explaining some archaic mathematic principle to a dear friend.
A sudden draft whispered through the hall and I hurpled against the cold into my scarf. I knew something was wrong.
In the corner, the violinist tootled a few notes in an undertone before breaking out into a rousing jig. The spell was broken and most people broke into a dance. Even the soldier, disillusioned after the war stopped his disquixotted talk about the failing world and did a few steps. But I knew nothing had changed.
I felt unky. Alone. I reached for Charles’ hand but he had commenced his usual vagation, wandering about the room. Not that it mattered, I had no idea how to wordify what I was feeling even if Charles would have listened.
Then I knew who the culprit was: a xanthodont, a yellow-toothed woman skulking in the corner of the room. I took a yeepsen of cookies, filling both hands with the delicious food and screamed my challenge cry.
The woman winked and suddenly a heavy stupor fell over me. In my zwodder, I didn’t see how she escaped, but it haunts me to this day.

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