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We are in the middle of a massive clear out, going through every room, drawer and cupboard in our house. It is shocking how much “stuff” a family of five accumulates over the years. It’s liberating to take bin liners full of things to the local charity shop and regain living and breathing space.

This morning I stumbled across a small book I started for your youngest son when he started reception class. It is called “Brendan’s Book of Difficult Words”. I realised that I myself would like to have a “book of difficult words” to remind myself that languages become impoverished unless we make full use of the vocabulary they offer.

The internet is a marvelous resource so I ran a search on “difficult words” and just found the following extraordinary site: http://phrontistery.info/

Did you know that…..

PHRONTISTERY – means  “a thinking place”

ABYSSOPELAGIC – of, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean

ACATALEPSY – the unknowableness of all things to a certainty

BELDAM – an old woman, a hag, an ancestress (related to the French Belle Dame by any chance??)

BELOMANCY – divination by means of arrows

BESTIARIAN – individual opposed to vivisection (me!)

CASTOPHRENIA – belief that one’s thoughts are being stolen

CATABASIS – the decline of disease in a population

And that is only a tiny selection… Isn’t that a marvelous collection of difficult words?!

I will be back at the PHRONTISTERY soon. For me so finding so many exotic words is happiness couriered to my door!

And then of course there are ‘difficult words’ like ‘forgiveness’ and ‘self-sacrifice’ – not so hard to comprehend, but harder to practice.  That could be the subject of another blog!

I would love to hear from anyone who has a “difficult word” to share!

Imelda Almqvist

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