Monday, July 21, 2008

Word up

I love words. Duh, I know. I like stringing them together and pulling them apart. I use as many dirty ones as I can get away with. But I tend to not use too many big ones. I shy away from most of those 10-cents and pricier varieties like the wallflower at a dance, always skirting around the edges and looking in with longing. Like many would-be writers before me, I spent the youth I should have been misspending poring over my Merriam-Webster and Roget's each time I found a new word while reading. But the writing I came to specialize in as an adult frowned on those grab-for-a-dictionary words. And being a practical gal by nature, I usually go for the simple and sturdy instead of fancy and foreign.

But that doesn't mean a particularly highfalutin word can't stop me in my tracks now and then. As if I needed more reasons to love Emma Thompson, she had to go out and break out a $1.10-word in her Proust Questionnaire answers for Vanity Fair this month.

Things were going along jovially, with a bit of Emma's trademark wit and good-natured self deprecation. (She called her “dimply thighs” the thing she liked least about her appearance and “cleanliness” the most overrated virtue.). And then, holy Shakespeare, out came the big one.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Uxoriousness.
Time to break out the Merriam-Webster again:
Uxoriousness: adj.
“excessively fond of or submissive to a wife”

How could you not swoon? How could you not absolutely swoon?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanx for another great article and the most beautiful picture of emma!

;) babs

Amanda said...

Well damn...

Amanda

TheWeyrd1 said...

She was also in the interview section of Parade Magazine this weekend!

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

After being married to, and divorced from, KB I can well imagine her leanings toward this particular trait.
Plus, I like the showy words, when they fit. In this case it's like putting a bonnet and a bow on pussy-whipped.

CupidsReviews Heidi said...

uxorious eh? I'll be adopting that one! I think that I am on the receiving end, which is not something to complain about! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

wow, what a great word!

I love theater and when I heard there was going to be a "darker" remake of the My Fair Lady musical, I just about vomited. And then I heard Ms. Emma will be writing it...now I'm intrigued. hmm..

kay said...

I picked up the magazine, flipped through it (because I like VF, I do, but wasn't sure Angie's cover had me convinced) and when I was about to put it down, I checked the back page (where there is always fun in every magazine), saw Emma, squealed like a little girl grabbing "Teen Beat" with the Jonas Brothers on the cover, and told the cashier "Vanity Fair just sold me a magazine because of one page. They used Emma Thompson to get me. And they won."

Oh clever, clever Vanity Fair. Clever, evil, Vanity Fair ;)

bisquiat said...

ET was always high on my list of "Girls I Liked Before I Knew I Liked Girls."

Thanks, doll.

Trihardist said...

Oh, of course. From the Latin uxor, meaning wife.

Haha! I know exactly what you mean. I had to start dumbing down my speaking when I started working at a gym. The other personal trainers look at my funny when I use such high-falutin' gems as "vitality." No joke. I actually had one of the other trainers ask me what "vitality" means.

I did not go into the Latin roots of that word, however. I save that only for you, Ms. Snarker.

abbagirl said...

i thank you very much for the word of the day. as always, i learn best when the lesson is reinforced with visual supplements.

i deeply appreciate the visual supplement for the lesson here.

perfectflaw75 said...

Well... Hellooooow.
That sexy pic of Emma got me, uh, uxo-somethin.

:D

tlsintx said...

i second that, bisquiat...

ET = yummy

i love your place, ms. snarker!

babs said...

okay, i actually knew what uxoriousness meant before this. Or at least recognized the root word uxor. I blame the fact I know Latin and am a lapsed medievalist here.

But I do love her. (In a straight gal way) And that pic. is very hawt.

S said...

uxorious... I like that. I'd say I'll try and remember it but I have forgotten how it is spelt in 10 mins and give myself an hour before I've forgotten it altogether. Lol.

Chris said...

Love learning new English words - and this one rolls off the tongue deliciously.

But am I right in correcting you that uxoriousness is not an adjective?

Thank you, a first time reader, directed here through the linster's blog post at AE.

Anonymous said...

ROLF! I did the exact same thing as you did. I Webstered the word right away.

And indeed...eloquent ladies are sexy.

dc said...

ooh! Super duper! I LIKE a well versed woman. And Emma has so much more.

Did I ever tell you about my dream where she was my best friend...sort of...? Never mind.y