Unapologetically Verbose- April

Once upon a time there was a story…but not that kind of story. A story which promises to teach you at least 365 of the most intriguing words in the English language, and will perhaps provide an enjoyable repose for you at the same time. A story which will unfold month by month, with each excerpt containing all of the word-of-the-day entries for that month, as depicted in my very well-favoured 365 New Words A Year Calendar.  Read these words, learn them, use them; they’re all wonderful. 

Then come to love the story, and follow it each month. I don’t know exactly where it’s going, but I do know that it’s going to be special.  

Here’s April…

Throughout his life Charlie Whittaker had been called a lot of things by a lot of people.
After his mother’s passing his father saw him as offal [1] from a time that was too painful to remember. For as long as they’d known him his friends from his old hometown has described him as callow, [2] albeit [3] they meant the term only as a most sincere form of flattery. When he’d gotten older the girls he used to know labelled him a lothario [4] who successfully worked his way through the fairer sex as though there was a gamification [5] element to the whole process. 

He didn’t necessarily agree with any of them, nor did he necessarily disagree with any of them. If truth be told he didn’t have a disposition that readily indulged in enough self-reflection to appropriately determine which labels were accurate and which weren’t. He didn’t care about identifying his own traits anymore than he cared about being a connoisseur [6] of French confection. [7] In his opinion giving himself a label would be like putting a hashtag [8] on his own life – and he was never one to put hashtags on anything. He was Charlie, and that was always enough for him.

His past meant he never favoured a laissez-faire [9] attitude to life. He didn’t believe that you sat back to let life take its own course, and you simply learn to convalesce [10] and pick up the pieces afterwards. He believed that a person was responsible for making their own way. That sometimes intervention was the smartest course.
It was that exact behaviour which led him to do complete the fateful derring-do [11] at Freeman Manor that day.

His motive wasn’t pecuniary [12] gain – like many people would have supposed – or even because he wanted another chance to observe the elaborate belvedere [13] featured in that most exquisite house, it was her. Erica Freeman. She was the sole impetus [14] behind his decision.

He hated to sound bathetic, [15] but as soon as he saw her face he knew it couldn’t be the only time he ever saw it. He knew he wanted to spend every day looking at it. She didn’t just interrupt him fixing the fault, she interrupted the very teleological [16] purpose of his life. From that exact moment his entire aim shifted, and his only focus in the world was to know her better.

But her family were famously the most hoity-toity [17] members of high society. They would never allow their daughter to come on first name terms with someone they felt was little better than an ungainly [18] village ragamuffin. [19] He was invited into Freeman Manor for one reason only – to fix the electrical fault. Once that was done his welcome there would be truly overstayed. If he ever wanted to see her again he would have to take the matter into his own hands and ideate [20] a faultless plan. One which would grant him access to Freeman Manor, which didn’t include him becoming an arboreal [21] creature who had to scale the greenery surrounding the perimeter purely to catch a glimpse of her. A red herring [22] that would give him genuine reason to go back there, and disguise the fact that he was purely constructing an excuse to see her.

It didn’t take him long to think of something. It never did once his mind had been made up.
Instead of fixing the problem he would intercalate [23] a slew [24] of errors that meant the fix was merely temporary. It was operose [25] to make something obviously fixed yet unobviously broken at the same time, but worth it to see her again.

Once he had finished he walked out of there placid, [26] as though there was no caveat [27] to his exit. As though he had completed the job in its entirety. For the time being the problem would certainly appear hidden, but before long the lights would dim to a xanthic [28] flicker before cutting out completely. It would no doubt cause an almighty hoopla [29] if it happened at the party, but that was a risk he was willing to take.

(You can navigate to the previous parts of the story by clicking here.)

Offal – The waste or by-product of a process. Rubbish. 
Callow – Lacking adult sophistication : immature. 

Albeit – Conceding the fact that: even though: although. 

Lothario – A man whose chief interest is seducing women. 

Gamification- The process of adding games or gamelike elements so as to encourage participation. 

Connoisseur – A critical judge in matters of art or taste. One who enjoys discrimination and appreciation of subtleties. 

Confection – A sweet food or fancy dish. Candy. A light but entertaining theatrical, cinematic, or literary work. 

Hashtag – A word or phrase preceded by the # symbol that classifies of categorises the accompanying text. 

Laissez-faire – A doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs. Abstention from direction or interference. 

Convalesce – To recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness. 

Derring-do – Daring action. 

Pecuniary – Consisting of or measured in money. Of or relating to money. 

Belvedere – A structure (as a cupola or a summerhouse) designed to command a view. 

Impetus – Driving force. Incentive. Stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity. The property possessed by a moving body. Momentum. 

Bathetic – Characterised by triteness or sentimentalism. 

Teleological – Exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature. 

Hoity-toity – Flighty, marked by an air of superiority. 

Ungainly – Lacking in smoothness or dexterity. Clumsy. Hard to handle: unwieldy. Having an awkward appearance. 

Ragamuffin – A ragged often disreputable person, especially a poorly clothed, often dirty, child.
Ideate – To form an idea or conception of. 

Arboreal – Of, relating to, or resembling a tree, Inhabiting or frequenting trees. 

Red Herring – Herring cured by sating and allow smoking. Something that distracts attention from the real issue. 

Intercalate – To insert (as a day) in a calendar. To insert between or among existing elements or layers. 

Slew – A large number. 

Operose – Tedious, wearisome. 

Placid – Serenely free of interruption or disturbance. 

Caveat – Warning. An explanation to prevent misinterpretation. A modifying to cautionary detail to be considered. 

Xanthic – Of, or relating to, or tending toward a yellow colour. 

Hoopla – Excited commotion. Exaggerated or sensational promotion or publicity. 

Cloche – A transparent plant cover used for protection against cold. A woman’s close-fitting hat with deep, rounded crown and narrow brim. *

*Particularly astute readers will notice how this word – this stupid, stupid word – isn’t included in the story. Yes, it got the better of me.