Though our 'information age' is drowning us in words - most notably through the rapid rise in popularity of the blog - our collective vocabulary seems to be growing ever more impoverished. So here is a collection of rare and neglected words that, if reintroduced, will help breathe much-needed life, savour and vitality back into the English language and will delight anyone keen to enrich their verbal repertoire. Each of these 100 hand-picked words comes with a precise definition, a quotation from literature, a personal note from the author validating its inclusion in the book, and, as a light-hearted finale, an example of its use in a witty piece of serialised fiction. And these words are not just fun, they're useful! Zaftig, for example, allows you to say 'pleasingly plump' without giving mortal offence. And what about millihelen, a unit equal to 'enough beauty to launch a single ship'?
Simon Hertnon studied linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He began his writing career in 1990 as a freelance journalist and has been writing professionally ever since. Today, Simon is a communications consultant and philosopher. He is the author of two previous books, Love & Logic: A bloke's guide to commitment and Clear, Concise, Compelling: How to write less and achieve more.