Today’s Daily Post writing prompt asks us to write about a time we used a word incorrectly. Well, I may not have done this much in real life, but I’ve done it in my dreams.
If you are a reader, you know I write a lot about dreams – anxiety dreams, dreams about my kids, dreams about a destination I never reach. I dream so much that sometimes I don’t even know whether I am awake or asleep.
And once, I dreamed all night long about the word pusillanimous, a word that does not sound at all like its meaning. Which I didn’t know until I looked it up in the morning.
In my dreams, I was using the word, others used the word – it had suddenly become the most common word on the face of the earth. And when I used it, I experienced the vaguely uncomfortable feeling one has when they use a word of whose meaning they are not quite certain.
By the way, it means, more or less, timid. I was really hoping for something more spectacular than that.
This episode is memorable for another reason. When I relayed it to a couple of close colleagues, I learned that pusillanimous fell into a category they called “Sarah Day words.” It seems said colleagues had coined this term to describe the not-so-widely known words I used in meetings that they had to look up afterwards in order to understand what I was trying to convey.
Huh. Well, I guess we all have to be known for something. Might as well be for others’ amusement around the water cooler.