Obfuscate. Agrestic. Congeries.

I may be speaking relatively, but I think I have a meager vocabulary. (It doesn’t help that I just had dinner with a friend yesterday who was able to name 5 animals beginning with the alphabet ‘Q’ at the drop of a hat. And the only one I recognized was ‘Quail’. Ken, you want to spell out the others for us? *helpless grin*)

Anyway, quite serendipitously, I came across Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day a few days ago. I decided to take up the free subscription and have the words emailed me everyday. It’s pretty fun. So far I’ve learned to stop obfuscating my ignorance, thought fondly of the week I spent in agrestic Ithaca, and realized that I have a scattered congeries of ideas that I still need put into writing for another paper. :P

This whole thing has reminded me of a little study group I was part of in Sec 4. Yinwei, Xiuhui and I decided to help one another improve our weaker subjects. They were supposed to help me with Math and Physics, and I was supposed to help them with English. So they would assign me problems to practice and mark my exercises… and every day I would give them a few new words to learn and test them throughout the day. I really enjoyed it, even when they started using their new vocabulary to tease me. I will never forget ever having taught them the word ‘verbose’. *wry*

It’s pretty neat that 11 years thence Yinwei’s an Electrical Engineer, Xiuhui is a Math teacher in HCJC, and I’m studying Philosophy of Education. We all continued taking to our preferred fields. Pretty cool, huh? I think so anyway. :P


According to Environment Canada, this is the gloomiest fall since 1970 (See Toronto Star article). Well, it’s been grey-skies every day for a while. Here’s wishing you the weather of your preference (be it rain or shine) in your hearts! :P


Edit: To all Scrabble players and people who are interested in obscure vocabulary, you have got to check out this online resource: The Phrontistery (it means ‘a thinking place’. Nice word eh?). It’s a dictionary of obscure English words, and it has a really cool glossary which has such categories as Pretenders & Dabblers, Manias & Obsessions, Rare 3-letter Words (Scrabble alert!), and Scientific Instruments (e.g. did you know that a cyanometer measures the blueness of the sky or ocean?) to name a few. Have fun browsing and raising your eyebrows! :)


  1. Ay don’t exaggerate lah… I only named 3: Quail, Quetzal and Quagga. I’m sure there’s quite a few more. =)

  2. Well to the furthest of my knowledge, quaggas can’t fly, so they couldn’t all have been able to fly over your head. =P

    And interestingly enough, I have heard of kenophobia before, but I learnt it as [c]enophobia. It’s related to the greek root “kenos”, meaning “empty, and it appears in the more recognizable word, “cenotaph”, which literally translates into “empty tomb”.

  3. Man, you know, after I posted that comment, I just KNEW you would say that. ARGH. Figuratively speaking, my friend! I’m not one for kyriolexy (the use of literal expressions). Heh heh had just seen that word earlier. How useful!

    Ok, you’re the king. Kaiser Ken. :o

  4. Hehe the root of humor lies in un-kyriolex-ifying, Ann…

    And please lah, “Kaiser”?!? Don’t prince-ify a pauper…

  5. Eh? U saying the root of humour is in being un-literal? *scratches head* Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

    You’re too cunning… I’m stumpified. ^^ And puh-leeeese… you a pauper? Don’t abase yourself lah. Besides, what does that make me?! No fair!

  6. Oh yah hor… I thought that would mean using the less obvious meaning, instead of the less literal meaning. So I guess the root of humour lies in kyriolex-ifying after all?

    Haha I’m a pauper, and you’re the nice little girl. *halo*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s