words words words!

Travelling back home this summer, I made the marvelous discovery that a new novel has been published the 44 Scotland Street series! The name of the book is The World According to Bertie, and I actually yelped for joy in the Heathrow airport Borders bookshop when I saw it on the shelf. It’s not as satisfying as the other novels, (after 3 books you can guess what is going to happen to the characters) but it is full of delicious words that make it an enjoyable enough read. (the words that follow are the words that I looked up afterwards).

apocryphal: of doubtful authenticity
quotidian: occurring every day
crowstepped: any of a series of steps at the top of a gable wall
paysage moralise: moralized landscape
fluted: having or marked by grooves
mullions: a slender vertical member that forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen or is used decoratively.
casus belli: an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war
dramaturge: A writer or adapter of plays; a playwright casus belli: an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war
echt: true, genuine
synaesthetic: A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color
fey: lots of meanings..which can be found here.
pugilist: the skill, practice, and sport of fighting with the fists; boxing
mots justes: exactly the right word or expression
atavistic: The return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence.
pellucid: transparently clear in style or meaning
dalliance: frivolous spending of time; dawdling. 2) playful flirtation
mendacious: lying; untruthful 2) false; untrue.

My favourite paragraph in the book is one that I want to implant firmly in my mind and heart. It is near the end of the book and occurs when two of the characters are trying to decide what to name painting. I’ve wrote it out to remember it better..

“Domenica turned away from the stove. ‘It’s a line from Auden,’ she said. ‘”If equal affection cannot be/let the more loving one be me.” ‘

They were both silent for a moment. Behind Domenica, the pot on the stove simmered quietly; there was a square of light on the ceiling, reflected off window glass, shimmering, late light. Angus thought: yes, this is precisely the sentiment. That’s it exactly. That’s all we need to remember in this life, two lines to guide us.”

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Shagufta is a UBC Political Science graduate with a passion for interdisciplinary thinking, writing, travel, reading, tea, and interesting conversations. She hopes to combine all of these things in her life work someday. For now though, she studies social policy and planning at the University of Toronto and shares her adventures in and out of the classroom at http://seriouslyplanning.wordpress.com.