The Wayne State University Word Warriors is a group with a mission to bring back and revive the use of great but forgotten words in the glorious English language. It’s the total opposite of what Northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness is all about.
What makes a word great though? According to Jerry Herron, an editorial board member of the Word Warriors website, it’s one that helps to define our world ever more precisely.
“I think the world is only as interesting, as delightful, as colourful, as our ability to experience the world,” he said, as quoted by Michigan Radio.
Herron believes that bringing back great words “will make the world more vivid, present, and also accurate”.
The group depends on the public to submit new words that deserve to be retrieved from the cob-webbed linguistic closet to its website wordwarriors.wayne.edu.
Here are the top 10 words from this year’s list and our suggestions on how you can use it in college:
1. “insuperable” = impossible to overcome
That Contract Law assignment about past consideration was insuperable.
2. “nugatory” = of no value or importance
Why do we need to know about quadratics? Wouldn’t it be nugatory in my future life as a struggling young creative?
3. “couth” = cultured, refined and well-mannered
The elite secret societies of Oxbridge present themselves as couth members of society or a real-life Dead Poets Society, but really, they’ve been riddled with accusations of violence, racism, and classism for the longest time.
4. “frangible” = fragile
Conservative students love to label us liberals as “fragile” for bringing up issues like microaggressions and keeping cops off-campus, but don’t these issue deserve a proper debate by everyone?
5. “eucatastrophe” = a sudden and favorable resolution of events in a story; a happy ending.
Will America see a eucatastrophe from everything that has happened since Trump became president?
6. “compunction” = a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows the doing of something bad
My roommate just leaves her dirty clothes and unwashed dishes everywhere with no compunction!
7. “recondite” = (of a subject or knowledge) little known; abstruse
As usual, my anthropology professor was talking about one of the most recondite topics ever.
8. “bilious” = spiteful; bad-tempered.
My housemates have been in a bilious mood ever since exams started.
9. “littoral” = relating to or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake.
You will pass a littoral of towns and villages on the drive up to St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
10. “picaresque” = relating to an episodic style of fiction dealing with the adventures of a rough and dishonest but appealing hero.
The story of Severus Snape is one of the most picaresque of all time.