A tendency to battologize about words

oed.jpgI like words! (But then regular reader(s) of the blog will already know that)
I mention it because it was a particularly good day for an avowed word spotter, with new words, amusing non use of prefixes and inadvertently inventing a word.
During a meeting this morning someone was keen, in their words, ‘to reiterate.’ This left me wondering whether an opening statement could be described as iterating. However looking it up I discovered that ‘iterate’ is already in itself to repeat something, so reiterating is merely further repetition. In the process though I did discover an old English word that would equate to severe reiteration, namely ‘battologize’
The same meeting also produced the word ‘Contagion’ which was new to me. A further conversation about spirituality led to me using ‘malbeing’ as a description of the unexamined life, only to discover that ‘malbeing’ is not a word*
And to complete a fine day in the uncharted tributaries of lexicography, I read this quote over at My Small Boat which I rather liked:
Couth, kempt and shevelled”
(Kitty Grime speaking of jazz musician and composer John Dankworth)
*it is now

7 Replies to “A tendency to battologize about words”

  1. This just makes me think instantly of….
    Blackadder: Oh, well, in that case, sir, I hope you will not object if I also offer the Doctor my most enthusiastic contrafribularities.
    Dr. Samuel Johnson: What?
    Blackadder: “Contrafribularites”, sir? It is a common word down our way.
    Dr. Samuel Johnson: Damn!
    Blackadder: Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I’m anispeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused you such pericombobulation.

  2. Si,
    You make it sound like I constantly repeat myself. Some of my ruminating is, in my opinion, only quasiiteration or remaining within the oeuvre of the subiterate.
    Ian

  3. you should be teaching english or become foghorn leghorn (That’s what I’ve been – I say, that’s what I’ve been telling you, boy! I am a chicken!) I’m not sure which 😉

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