June 11, 2016


      The excess of propriety and formality in our day has sadly deprived our language of the fertile and resonant words which the Englishman of prior centuries had at his disposal 'Argufy' s one such; the dictionary defines it as 'to argue or qualify, typically about something trivial.' Certainly we have all seen occasions where innocuous subjects are 'argufied'; an excess of drink is often involved, though, in my opinion, an excess of coffee or tea can lead to argufication also. The analogous 'speechify' one still hears, though it cannot be considered elegant. Most useful, though less known, is the venerable 'despisefy.' Despisefy,or despisefying, is when a mass of people is led to despise someone or something for little or no reason.

from Love and Friendship, In Which Jane Austen's
Lady Susan Vernon 
Is Entirely Vindicated, by Whit Stillman


Terra Hangen said...

I collect words which are rarely used, and these two are gems.

Mac n' Janet said...

I love forgotten words, I may help revive argufy.