Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Word of the day

My word of the day, which I just now encountered while reading Fredric Jameson, is "obnubilate." It means, apparently, to "obscure," to "make unlcear or less visible."

Question: we know that onomatopoeia refers to words that mimic the sounds they describe (like "bang" or "quack"). Is there a term for words that embody the quality or action they describe? Because, really, coming across "obnubilate" was a truly obnubilating (obnubilatory?) experience.

Observation: theory-speak does delight in those kind of words, doesn't it? One of my favourite theory-speak words before now was "obfuscate," which of course means the exact same thing. Well! Out with the old, in with the new. I will from here on in always refer to "obnubilating discourse."

And to show Fredric Jameson at his obnubilating best, here's the locution in which I found the word embedded: "obnubilated with a spurious apotheosis."



Anonymous said...

Hey, haven't had any "hair updates" lately.

Personally, I like perspicacious. Of acute, mental vision or discernment. Keen. It is simply fun to say.

SDZion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SDZion said...

I appear to have deleted my prior comment. It said:

When you said in class that obnubilate was your word of the day, you really meant it!

Good show in The Muse. Enjoying the class.