Ear Wigs

I go through periods where words—like strong-hookéd pop songs—get stuck, lodged you might say, in my head. Recently, it was ‘legerdemain,’ today it’s ‘vituperative.’ I had a dream about ‘vituperative’ last night. Someone, his face dream-shrouded now, was applying it to everything including me around his person: ‘You’re so vituperative.’ I didn’t know what it meant till just now, via Dictionary.com: “marked by harshly abusive criticism.” Based on that definition, I don’t believe you’d use ‘vituperative’ to describe a person. It seems applicable to media only: texts, criticism. I hope I’ve freed my mind of ‘vituperative.’

Does anyone else experience this?

[Cross posted at P.S.]


  1. Yes. You are not alone. Occasionally, the words that get stuck are, for reasons unknown, in poorly executed foreign accents. This makes a long commute to work with a broken radio somewhat psychotic.

  2. I would respond, Stephenson, but I am a wisp of smoke–a wisp of smoke who has just taken great pleasure in using the word “stentorian” in the wisp’s next post.

    If the wisp could whisper another word into your ear, however, it would not be “stentorian.” It would be, “glissando.”

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