This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday Rest: lurid. Word Not To Use Today.

File:A lurid coloured fungus - geograph.org.uk - 604655.jpg
Photo by Graham Horn

Not only does this word sound as if someone has stirred glue into it, but it's a contranym. Yes, I know these are usually adorable, but this one...just isn't.

It means pallid or wan, but confusingly it also means glowing with an unnatural glare. 

You quite often have to stop for a moment to work out what's  happening when you come across a contranym, but with this word I can't see that there's any way you can work it out. Is the poor invalid flushed with fever or deathly pale? The l word certainly won't tell you.

L**** (I really can't bear to type it) can also describe a shockingly horrid story, or something my Collins dictionary thrillingly describes as "horrible in savagery or violence."

Anyway, it's thoroughly nasty. To be shunned.

So there you are: that's more than enough l**** details about l****, so I'm off.

Sunday Rest: l****. This word comes from the Latin lūridus, which means pale yellow.

4 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever come across (that word) being used as anything other than the likes of '(that word) details.'
    Not knowing the other meanings, I think if I heard/saw '(that word) sunset,' I'd forever be trying to work out what was so horrible about a sunset!
    Dang confusing English language!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sparing us THAT word, Jingles. Poor innocent sunsets...[shudder]...

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    2. Ah, there's nothing like a good comment to lift the heart, Eddie. And that was nothing like a good comment.

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