Tuesday, March 3, 2009

vocabulary words of the week

Can a carpenter have too much lumber or too many nails? Can a writer have too many words?

This week it's colors:

Sub fusc: dark brown, brownish, dusky. I'm thinking of a kind of wet-sea-lion brown. I have as yet been unable to use this word in a sentence, despite having just finished a story about selkies. Means also "drab, somber". I can't remember reading this word in a book, either, maybe I was reading the dictionary, which I do sometimes.

Glaucous. I remember falling over this word over and over in Richard K. Nelson's The Island Within. It's been awhile since I read that book but I imagine he meant it as definition 1.b. "of a light bluish gray or bluish white." I was able to use this word to describe the moon when shining through thin cloud cover. But there is also definition 2. "having a powdery or waxing coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off ( ex. glacous fruits). So I can finally describe the glaucous purple or glaucous yellow of ripe plums. There is also the challenge of definition 1.a.: "a pale yellow-green color" - as in not ...

chartreuse: "a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green" -- the color the pasture grass is on a bright sunny day right now, but not for much longer. Haven't used this one in writing yet, but I have come to favor it on the walls. Half of my kitchen is now something the paint chip label called "Japanese Quince" and I call "Wince." An enlivening color.

and last for now ...

Cerise. I love the sound of this color. I don't know when I'll use it as an adjective, but I have used it as a name (in an unfinished piece). The definition does not hold up to the sound, either: " a moderate shade of red" and then goes on to say it's from the French and Latin word for cherry. Okay ... maybe not such a great name for a strong female character.

There does not appear to be a good cerise in blogspot's color choices.

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