On Wrangling Words

mhYdsHKAs you know, I’m in the middle of a significant writing project, as my DMiss literature review is due in just 11 days in “fair draft” mode.

As a result, I’m up to my eyeballs in words, and in wrangling them into something clear and compelling. Honestly, I find writing to be a schizophrenic process.

On one hand, it’s exceedingly difficult. Quoting Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Exactly.

On the other hand, at the same time the writing process is wildly exhilarating. Quoting Flaubert: “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” Amen. It’s a rush.

Anyhow, to help supplement the vocabulary, and to have a little fun, I asked some friends on Facebook to help me freshen up my word list. The result was a beautiful (and offbeat) collection of words. Here’s the list:



Extricate, extrapolate, acquire


Bloviate (I’m committed to finding a place for this one!)


“Inextricably linked”

Skullduggery, etiolate, salubrious, circumambulating


Cromulent, embiggen

Disenfranchise, opine, run/ride roughshod, ameliorate

Obfuscate, recurse, traverse


Absquatulate, bowdlerise, fletcherise, hornswoggle, lollygag, peculate, skedaddle, subtilize, yaff


Now to see how many of these I can wrangle into an academic paper! And you’re more than welcome to add to the list in the comments!

3 responses to “On Wrangling Words”

  1. the Farmy says :

    I really like it’s use in geologic writing.
    The Farralon Plate, now foundered beneath the North American Plate…

    I like the multiple meanings this word can have. The more common establishing of an institution contrasts nicely with the sinking of a ship or undertaking. It grows with meaning, to me, when used to describe the total disappearance of a very large oceanic plate. To think of a whole oceanic terrain with mountains and valleys slowly succumbing to destruction is awe inspiring.

  2. rdixon1365 says :

    “The whole enterprise of inter-gender partnerships in mission founders when there is a dearth of communication.” Something like that?

  3. Tim says :

    Bloviate is one of my favorite words. If you’ve ever read Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, you’ve seen literature’s premier bloviator in the character of John Thorpe. He’s the epitome of the bloviating bloviator from Bloviateville.

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