Friday, January 15, 2016

Balancing act using big vocabulary

Word collectors always have to tread a fine line between flattering their readers’ erudition and basking in their own, and [William F.] Buckley couldn't always keep his balance. He had a weakness for what the critic H. W. Fowler described as "Wardour Street words," after the street in Soho where Londoners used to shop for decorative bric-a-brac. He couldn't resist using catechize in place of question or grill, vaticination for forecast, estop for stop, and eo ipso for in and of itself.
Geoffrey Nunberg, “Puttin’ on the Style,” in The Years of Talking Dangerously (New York: PublicAffairs, 2009), p. 34

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