I’m not a copywriter. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned working with writers, it’s that they like words. And the more out-of-the way a word is, the more they’ll like it.
Here at Reed Words we love the occasional deep dive into the weird and wonderful world that is British English.
This can be great for producing smart and engaging writing. But not so great if you only started learning English at the age of twelve. (And immediately came to the conclusion that it’s impossible to correctly pronounce ‘Zoe’ or ‘Zoo’.) So occasionally I wonder what my lovely colleagues are on about.
I’m a project manager. I like timeliness. I like reliability, schedules and comprehensive briefs. But above all, I like lists.
So when it came to learning the language of Reed Words, there was only one way to make my Wortschatz fit for purpose. I scribble down the words I learn from the team’s conversations on a post-it, and pin it to my screen.
For your general amusement, I thought I’d post my list so far:
Pernickety – giving too much attention to small details that are not important in a way that annoys other people
Pester – to behave in an annoying manner by doing or asking for something repeatedly
Puckish – liking to make jokes about other people and play silly tricks on them
Verbose – using or containing more words than are necessary
Dawdle – to do something or go somewhere very slowly, taking more time than is necessary
Highfalutin – trying to seem very important or serious, but without having a good reason for doing so and looking silly as a result
Shoddy – badly and carelessly made, using low quality materials
Obtuse – stupid and slow to understand, or unwilling to try to understand
Wafty – insubstantial
Grouse – to complain angrily
Golden shower – [There isn’t a definition for this in the Cambridge Online Dictionary.]
Now, there’s probably a number of ways to interpret this list. Do we all hate each other? (No.) Does no one ever have anything positive to say? (Mixed bag.) Does it mean anything that there are no nouns on this list? (Hmm.)
I don’t know. I’m just happy this vocabulary is part of my repertoire now.