I am slightly disappointed in Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” email service. I was hoping to broaden my vocabulary and come across new and exciting words. So far, it’s been pretty lackluster.
I’ve always loved twenty-five cent words and would try to pepper my speech with them after I studied for the SATs. I think it’s because I like the efficiency of being able to sum up a thought with one big word instead of several smaller ones. This actually earned me my first enemy in college, my freshman roommate, who was convinced I was a pretentious jerk after I used the word “plethora” in a sentence. She also told me I was using it wrong. For the record, I wasn’t, and it turns out she was just a grumpy bitch. I moved out in the second semester.
Yesterday’s Word of the Day was “flout;” it’s kind of my favorite so far. And not only because it seems like it could be the past tense of “flute,” which isn’t even a verb. Here is the definition:
1 : to treat with contemptuous disregard : scorn
2 : to indulge in scornful behavior
Perhaps I like it because I enjoy scornful behavior. Unless it is directed at me.
Anyway, flout is the exception. Flamboyant? Complaisant? Effrontery? My vocabulary is not that spectacular, so I don’t feel smug that I already know these words. I think Merriam-Webster is kind of phoning it in.