Wednesday, August 20, 2003
The Phrontistery (fron'tis-te-ri, n a thinking-place [Gr phrontisterion from phrontistes a thinker, from phroneein to think; applied by Aristophanes to the school of Socrates]) has some unique resources for logophiles. The list of Compendium of Lost Words gives "over 400 of the rarest modern English words - in fact, ones that have been entirely absent from the Internet, including all online dictionaries, until now." Though one can never be sure what causes the untimely death of a word, we can guess that some have passed on because of changes in culture and technology, like saburrate (to put sand or gravel in a ship as ballast), sagittipotent (having great ability in archery) or schismarch (founder of a schism). But i wonder why words like solennial (occurring once a year; annual) lost out.
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