Monday, November 30, 2009

Dictionary Moment: Horripilant

I love dictionaries.  I can never look up just one word, unless I really concentrate.  One word leads to another.  I often get lost in vocabulary before I find the answer to my first question.  Dandelionslayer shares this love of language with me.  Early in our marriage we purchased a copy of the 1979 Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, with the red cover, from Deseret Industries for $.75.  Considering use per cost, this is undoubtably the best bargain we've bought.  We still use the red dictionary, when we can find it.  It is not so red anymore, and hides among the other books.  But more recently, Dandelionslayer invested in the 2002 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which contains even more treasures.  The two-volume format dampens my wanderings, but does not discourage me completely.

I found today's treasure last week, while checking my spelling of "hors d'oeuvres" (I was almost right).  On the same page, I found the adjective "horripilant," which describes things which cause "horripilation," which means . . . goose bumps. 

Trying to think of an example sentence, I've realized that horripilation is a sensation which I do not often experience.  I live a pretty calm life.  But now I am almost looking forward to the next time, so I can say, "Ooo, that is so horripilant!"

What gives you horripilation?

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