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John Klima
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 10:57 am:   

Autochthonous means "originating where it is found," as in "the autochthonal fauna of Australia includes the kangaroo."

Huh? Could you write a more awkward sentence?

Of course, some of you know where this sentence comes from and why the word 'autochthonous' is important this year. Just like how 'pococurante' was important last year, and 'prospicience' the year before that, and 'succedaneum', well you get the idea. There is a good mixture of words I know and those I don't in this list. Sad how 'knack' was a good word to know in 1930. My Sharona exactly. 1938 was a crazy year, as 'sanitarium' shows us. And hardly anyone was awake enough to remember 'narcolepsy' in 1976.

Looking back into the years there are many words that I would use in conversation. Maybe not just any conversation, but ones I would use. But the last six or seven years? Heck, let's look at the last ten:


1994 antediluvian
1995 xanthosis
1996 vivisepulture
1997 euonym
1998 chiaroscurist
1999 logorrhea
2000 demarche
2001 succedaneum
2002 prospicience
2003 pococurante

With the exception of 'antediluvian' there aren't any words that I even know, much less could use in a sentence.

So here's my proposal, one of you smart-ass writer people out there should write a story for me using some of these words. The word should be central to the theme of the story, not just something a character spouts like "the autochthonal fauna of Australia includes the kangaroo." That's a meaningless sentence, even if it does use the word better than "I have no idea what autochthonous means" like we all used to write in grade school.

What do you think?

Well, get writing!

John Klima
Editor
Electric Velocipede
http://www.electricvelocipede.com
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Jamie
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 12:41 pm:   

Logorrhea -- that's 'running off at the mouth', right? ('logo' -- word, 'rrhea' -- whatever the root is, as in diarrhea.)

I'll see what I can do. :-)
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   

Yeah, I haven't had the heart to look up 'logorrhea' since I like making up definitions in my head instead. But...it means excessive use of words. Which means you're right Jamie.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 08:28 pm:   

If anyone does take me up on this, please put "Spelling Bee SUBMISSION" as your subject line in your e-mail.

Thanks!

JK
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Jetse
Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 05:44 pm:   

BTW, John, are you aware of an anthology called "Alsiso" released by Elastic Press (see here: http://www.elasticpress.com/alsiso.htm )?

It began when Marion Arnott made a typo on the Elastic Press discussion board, and Elastic Press head honcho Andrew Hook took it from there and asked authors to write a story about the non-exisitng word "Alsiso".

Some came up with very creative solutions, and it's my favorite antho of last year.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 05:55 am:   

Jetse:

I was aware of the project, but not enough to know what it was. Sounds interesting, I think I need to look into it more. Thanks for the link.

BTW, did your issue of EV arrive?

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 07:14 am:   

And one year later, we have: "appoggiatura" which is defined as "An embellishing note, usually one step above or below the note it precedes and indicated by a small note or special sign."

Just to note, next issue has two stories from this challenge: Hal Duncan's "The Chiaroscurist" and Neil Williamson's "The Euonymist" both very cool stories. I did receive some other very good submissions from this, but only those two made the final cut.

Anyone want to try this year's word? Or one of the other words?

JK

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