The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Archaic and Mammoth Sized

Big words make a big difference

Few things are of practical use when they are archaic and mammoth-sized — certainly, textbooks, the Taco Bell in your minifridge and your personal grudges have absolutely no business being either. But archaic and mammoth-sized vocabulary, on the other hand, is an art. Not just an art — but an edge over the rest.

Your words can mean survival in these trying times.

We will start with a low stakes example — true love. I will set the scene for my smitten kittens out there. Leaving your anthropology class, you run into someone you have been waiting to ask out for months. Demonstrating artful archaic and mammoth-sized vocabulary, you claim that, “Insomnia Cookies are a trifle rhadamanthine.” Impressive.

This next bit is key. If they ask you what rada-da-ma-ma-thu-tor means, know that it means scrumptious but solely for sweets with a crumbly texture. The specificity of words is hot — your crush might exclaim something along the lines of, “Wow, you are so intelligent! Um, you know, if you’d be down, we could hang and get some rad-uhmo-moo-tun-e-ding cookies.” They blush, embarrassed. You beam, delighted. You rest easy knowing that you’ve not only secured your half-semester long puppy love, but that you’ve strategically kept your reputation safe as well. 

Your little crush will likely not remember the word you said at all, much less look up the actual meaning. They would only know that you’re a hot baby — intelligent and selective with your language — and one to keep, at least for a few weeks. All this, true love, believe it or not, comes when you use your words and speak from the heart.

But the art of using words that fit my trademarked “archaic and mammoth-sized” description can be applied even when the stakes are raised. As University students, we must address the growing importance of networking. If you are trying to impress a professor or any kind of authority to gain an edge, use your words. “The war was verisimilitude,” “the key to learning Python is to be mephitic,” or “‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky is syzygal” — error alert! Your professor points out the book is by Oscar Wilde, not Dostoevsky. Don’t let the fear show. Archaic and mammoth-sized words have the unique quality of rendering all other inaccuracies trivial. Use the following mechanism.

“My apologies, excuse my embourgeoisement. But regardless, I thought the novel was absolutely cacoethes.”

Perfect recovery. Your professors are human too and they will forget the words you say — especially if you add a handsome helping of mispronunciation. More importantly, if you use my formula, they will forget the inconsequential errors you make. However, they’ll remember the crucial part — your intelligence. Research opportunities and internships inundate you. Fantastic, jump for joy and logomachy.

Not a single word of this article has been a lie, and I certainly wasn’t lying when I said that archaic and mammoth-sized words can be the key to survival. As I described above, they can be used for speedy recovery. 

The opposition claims that there are situations where archaic and mammoth-sized words cause more harm than they do good. I will admit, difficulties may arise. Once you embrace this art, it will become your social existence. What if you mess up the only schtick you have got and, heaven forbid, forget a specific word you wanted to use? How do you save your status and life? 

Don’t worry, you’re a lucky duckie! The art of archaic and mammoth-sized vocabulary is self-repairing. At risk? Deploy the life-saving recovery mechanism below.

“Sorry, I’m suffering from an unusual case of lethologica.”

Lethologica — the incapability to remember a particular word, one perfect for the moment. If you, dare I say, have a severe case of that tip-of-the-tongue-ness for lethologica, then, rest assured, there are many alternatives. Pulchritudinous, chancroid, fricassee or saxicoline can do the trick. 

Others argue that there are situations in which words aren’t enough — in order to make human connections we must remember faces, names and facts. If you find yourself in a socially fatal situation where you forget someone’s name — particularly if that person is important like the professor of a class you’re failing, the love of your life or someone you awkwardly lock eyes with in class when you look up — self-diagnose yourself as indicated below.

“Forgive me, the lethonomia is stunting me.”

Lethonomia — the incapability to recall a specific name. But if you suffer lethologica for the word lethonomia, do not panic. There are many archaic and mammoth-sized devices to be used, such as sartorial, demitasse, petrichor or demesne. 

And, boom, you’re safe and sizzling — life support couldn’t compete with my methods for these deadly social situations. Bonus points if your words are entirely fictional. They should balance out the points you lost on your chemistry exam.

Thus, I vernacularly hope your esoteric little souls have learned an agglomeration of defenestration from my epistemological gasconade of the archaic and mammoth-sized.


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