Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mullions, Oriels, and Irascible Harridans

"Hilarious," said one review. It described the British author of eleven best-selling novels as "sharp-witted" and one who gives satire "an extra bite."

I chose the paperback expecting to get a two-for-one from it. I planned to use it to exemplify the structure of novels for a new writer. And for me? Well, who can't use more humor in their life? It turns out I gained neither from reading my selection. I'm too reserved to recommend a book filled with vulgarities.

On the other hand, the author proved, by her facility with language, that she had cut her teeth in writing before she gained the moniker, novelist.

The following is a sampling of words she used that helped balance terms I found offensive. If half of the list puzzles you, squeeze more reading into your schedule.

  1. Burnishing
  2. Cantilevered
  3. Duvet
  4. Encomium
  5. Harridan
  6. Incipient
  7. Irascible
  8. Maladroit
  9. Mullion
  10. Oriel
  11. Pneumatic
  12. Proffer
  13. Rheumy
  14. Simper
  15. Unguent
Do you need help building your facility with words? Check out It's a neat site.

(c) 2012, Bernice W. Simpson

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