I have lost a lot of interest in words.

Okay, that’s not true.

I have lost interest in listing a word simply because it was unfamiliar and could be wielded as a weapon, bashing the heads of the ignorant. But writing is not about that. It is about communicating with your audience. No more, no less.

The value of esoteric words comes from their specific connotations, context and subtext-sensitive evincing that is not worn down by colloquial (mis)usage. Like a good curse word, they pack the most punch when used sparingly. Listing word after esoteric word predominantly because I had not heard of it and thought it would become necessary to add to my arsenal, as if anyone who was truly a writer had mastered usage of all these words is a common fault of literary minds.

Show, don’t tell.

Since coming to this realization there are simply few words that really strike a chord with me. But this one sure does:

onanism

[oh-nuh-niz-uhm]

noun

1. withdrawal of the penis in sexual intercourse so that ejaculation takes place outside the vagina; coitus interruptus.
2. masturbation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the only word, all month long, that piqued my interest. But that’s how it “should” be. The goal is not to fill space but to gain wisdom. Less is more.

fiat

[fee-aht, -at; fahy-uht, -at]

noun

1. an authoritative decree, sanction, or order: a royal fiat. Synonyms: authorization, directive, ruling, mandate, diktat, ukase.
2. a fixed form of words containing the word fiat,  by which a person in authority gives sanction, or authorization.
3. an arbitrary decree or pronouncement, especially by a person or group of persons having absolute authority to enforce it: The king ruled by fiat.

A nifty word Deborah Tannen used that stuck in my head. Fee-aht. Men prefer rule by fiat.

inure

[in-yoor, ih-noor], in·ured, in·ur·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. to accustom to hardship, difficulty, pain, etc.; toughen or harden; habituate (usually followed by to ): inured to cold.

catachresis \kat-uh-KREE-sis\, noun:

Misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.

This monstrous metaphor should more aptly be called a catachresis, an extravagant, unexpected figure, and we might be tempted to dismiss it as abusive misstatement. But neither the catachresis nor the monster can simply be dismissed…
— Richard L. Regosin, Montaigne’s Unruly Brood

ossified

[os-uh-fahyd]

adjective

1. hardened like or into bone.

2. Slang . drunk.

“[The America of “The Wire”] is an interconnected network of ossified institutions, all of them so committed to perpetuating their own business-as-usual approach, that they keep letting their own equivalents of Snot Boogie into the game, simply because that’s how it’s always been done.” – Alan Sepinwall

didactic

[die-dak-tik]

adjective

1. intended for instruction; instructive: didactic poetry.

2. inclined to teach or lecture others too much: a boring, didactic speaker.

3. teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson.

4. didactics, ( used with a singular verb ) the art or science of teaching.

bon mot

[bon moh; Fr. bawn moh]

noun

a witty remark or comment; clever saying; witticism.

omertà

[aw-mer-tah; Eng. oh-mer-tuh]

noun Italian .

secrecy sworn to by oath; code of silence.

vicissitude

[vi-sis-i-tood, -tyood]

noun

1. a change or variation occurring in the course of something.
2. interchange or alternation, as of states or things.
3. vicissitudes, successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs: They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years.
4. regular change or succession of one state or thing to another.
5. change; mutation; mutability.

recalcitrant

[ri-kal-si-truhnt]

adjective

1. resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
2. hard to deal with, manage, or operate.
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