What happens to words that aren’t used any more?

Sadly, these brave soldiers disappear from the dictionary, dropped from the lexicon by heartless editors who frankly seem like the kind of people who would seat elderly folks on ice floes and push them out to sea.

The good news? You, dear reader, have the power to save an archaic or obsolete word from certain oblivion.

What can I possibly do?” you say. Simple.

The Times Online is running a list of words that are in danger of being dropped from the dictionary (Collins). To save them, all you need do is use them in your copywriting work.

…but Collins has given warning that it is not enough for the words to be used by their champions alone. Endangered words must appear at least six times in Collins’s corpus, a database that records word usage in printed, broadcast and online media.

Compilers will discount any references to words if they appear in articles about the campaign to save them.

Surely, my verbose friends, you can find a place in that landing page for “Apodeictic” – which means “unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration.”

No room for that? Then how about spicing up that corporate Web copy with “nitid” – which means “bright or glistening.” (That’ll drive conversions.)

Embrangle? Compossible? Fubsy?

Stick ’em in a direct response email – or use them in that epic tweet you haven’t quite gotten right.

Only by acting today can we – as copywriters – turn back this threat to our language.

So look deep into your heart, and see if you have it in you to save some poor word from oblivion today. (If not, then perhaps you too are the kind of person who would shove elderly laden ice floes out to sea.)

How you can help to save some cherished words from oblivion – Times Online

Abstergent: Cleansing or scouring

Agrestic: Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth

Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

Caducity: Perishableness; senility

Caliginosity: Dimness; darkness

Compossible: Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle: To confuse or entangle

Exuviate: To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)

Fatidical: Prophetic

Fubsy: Short and stout; squat

Griseous: Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey

Malison: A curse

Mansuetude: Gentleness or mildness

Muliebrity: The condition of being a woman

Niddering: Cowardly

Nitid: Bright; glistening

Olid: Foul-smelling

Oppugnant: Combative, antagonistic or contrary

Periapt: A charm or amulet

Recrement: Waste matter; refuse; dross

Roborant: Tending to fortify or increase strength

Skirr: A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight

Vaticinate: To foretell; prophesy

Vilipend: To treat or regard with contempt

Keep writing, Tom Chandler.

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