How to Sound Clever, By Hubert van den Bergh


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The Independent Culture

It can safely be said that no Independent reviewer will need a collection of "600 English words you pretend to understand… when you don't".

Still, it's useful to be reminded that invidious means "unfair comparison" not just "unfair", elliptical means "lacking key words but still making sense", crapulent means "nauseous due to overindulgence", and ineffable means "too great to be uttered in words".

It's less use to have dirge defined as "a lament for the dead". Once true certainly, but is it ever used without irony today?