My New Word

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“…a story possesses verisimilitude when it gives readers the sense that it has captured the situation with total authenticity.” ~ Fred White from the July 24th entry of The Daily Writer

This is my new word of the day. I love this word. I love trying to say it aloud. I am at times awkward in my pronunciation of words, (room and broom being two that send people into fits of laughter when I say them) but I try anyway.

I belong to a very forgiving Writers’ Group and when I read my “literary” offerings aloud I find it embarrassing that words I use with abandon in my writing I cannot pronounce correctly. I have either not heard them said or because of a defect with my tongue (which is imagined, not real) I cannot say them properly. Dishevelled is just one, but there are many.

I am fairly well educated and this should not be a problem. But it is my personal  albatross or millstone around my neck, which could explain why I have trouble with some words—having such impediments shackling my burdened neck is a hindrance don’t you think?

Anyway, I like my new word. Ve-ri-si-mil-i- tude. And I think I have captured my problem of pronunciation with verisimilitude—it is an authentic problem that does not, as White says: « filter out the disturbing details. »

Do you have any millstones around your neck? Or a favourite new word?

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35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I notice sometimes that a word will suddenly appear in my life…just begin popping up everywhere…I like your new word, but like you, stumble over speaking it out loud! ~ Sheila

    • yet I have no trouble with supercalifragilisticexpalidocious (although I do not know how to spell it!)

  2. I’m going to have to try to use that in a sentence sometime this week, just to say I did. One of my favourite words to use on my youngest is perseverate (which she tends to do a lot – to the point that we call her Rainman).

    • I need to become more Rainman-like in some areas of my life–let me know when you use my word

  3. “words I use with abandon in my writing I cannot pronounce correctly. I have either not heard them said ”

    If you ever want to check out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar/unusual word, try looking it up at

    An example:

    You will see to the right of the word a “PLAY” button. Click on it and you will hear the word. Next to the right of that is a breakdown by syllables. Click on the QUESTION MARK button for more information.

    I hope that helps.

  4. Quixotic. I have no idea how to say it, but I love it so!

  5. The word Adirondack jumped to mind. It starts melodically and ends like a cliff. I’ve never been to the Adirondack Mountains, but they were often mentioned in literary east coast fiction from my childhood and they seemed somehow protected, safe, luxurious, rich, as did all the writers. So different from my life and the mountains where I loved.
    Millstones? Yes, I have many.

  6. I pride myself on my extensive vocabulary (or my obvious outflanking over my old man), so imagine my distress when good old hubby uses a word that, for some odd reason or another, I had never heard. syc·o·phant [sik-uh-fuhnt, -fant, sahy-kuh-]
    a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

    • you have to admit–it is a good word

      • oh, i admit it, and use it often now:) I like how your new word rolls of the tongue. mine, just sounds sick

  7. Serendipity. Lovely word, lively concept.

  8. What drives me nuts is when the pronunciation of the root word changes with the suffix/prefix. If I get the root word stuck in my head I will stumble trying to change it to the proper pronunciation. The only one I can think of at the moment is compromise, from promise although this is one I usually don’t stumble over. 🙂

    • never thought of that but now that you have pointed it out I will take notice — what a clever girl you are!

  9. So, can you put a sound bite on your blog?? Because I really want to hear you say “verisimilitude” ten times fast LOL!! You wouldn’t mind being our entertainment would you? As for my favourite big word, it’s “discombobulated”. I just love the way it rolls around in the mouth, and it’s exactly how I was feeling today :).

    • ha ha ha – no way Jose–I do not have the capability and even if I did I would not do it for your pleasure–I could just see you replaying it at one of those wild parties you throw when the kids are out of town
      I love discombobulated–it was a favourite word of my dad

      • Wild parties??? You have me mixed up with somebody else. I know you don’t believe this, but we actually have a really boring social life :).

      • your neighbours told me that they had to get earplugs–could they be lying

  10. I’m rather keen on rebarbative, which sounds like its meaning !!!

    • still had to look it up and I am repulsed by its meaning –ha ha, I am just sooooooo clever

  11. A friend and I used to play a word game, learning a new word every week and sharing it with other (we took turns chosing the word) then trying to use it during the week (in conversation) and I so remember THIS word and how hard it was to drop it into conversation, but we had so much fun with it, I laugh at the memory every time I see it!!

    • I can see it would be hard to drop into a conversation–another word I like is parsimonious–the word, not its meaning

  12. I tried three times and I can’t say this word. Will never put it in a novel so I won’t have to read it aloud.

  13. Try splitting it in your mind’s eye into three words:

    very similly tude

    That might work.

    • that helped wonderfully–now we must tell TBM (another commenter)

      • The drawback with this method, of course, being that while it may help you to enunciate (another fine and underemployed word) a word more easily if you are not very careful it leads you to misspelling it. 😦

  14. I have a hard time saying so many words … and spelling so many words. This is especially hard when I’m reading out loud. One of my favorite English teachers told me never to not use a word just because I couldn’t say it or spell it. Great post!

  15. I have that book! 🙂


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