Reading the OED

atechny (n.) A lack of skill; a lack of knowledge of art.

Reading through the dictionary, I am struck again and again by the fact that many words that describe common things are obscure, while many words that describe obscure things are widely known.  For example, everyone knows that word dinosaur, even though no one has ever seen or met one.  Yet, even though we are faced each and every day with artistic ignorance and lack of skill, very few of us know the word atechny.

That’s from Ammon Shea’s superb Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

Astorgy is the lack of natural affection when it would normally be present.

Accismus is an insincere refusal of a thing that is desired.

Agathokakological means made up of both good and evil.

And those are just some of the A words.


Comments for this post are closed