Monday, August 29, 2016

This Post is About a Myriadinous Plethora of Large Words

I was wandering through some of my older posts this morning when I happened upon this little morsel of word play:

In the post I meander off on a riff about silent letters and some of our peculiarities in the English language. I noticed also some of my pet peeves--words such as bombastic and ostentatious. Actually, I like those words. The ones I have problems with are plethora and myriad. Why can't we just say 'many', or 'a lot', or 'a whole bunch'. I don't think I've ever said I own a plethora of comic books or movies. And myriad, I see it all the time (could that be a plethora of time?), but I'm not sure of it's exact meaning, so I'll head over right now to see what Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster have to say about them.

Hmm, I entered 'plethora' by mistake, but it gave me an interesting answer. It means "a very large amount or number : an amount that is much greater than what is necessary", which seems to encompass the way I feel about 'plethora', anyway--much greater than necessary.

So, myriad means: "a very large number of things", essentially the same as 'plethora'. But here's what I also noticed. Both words are described by the word 'very', and this gets into the whole size question. How 'very' is 'very'? If we have something that's 'very very' large, would that be a 'myriad plethora' of things, or perhaps a 'double plethora' or 'plethora squared'?

These are the things that keep me awake at night and wake me up earlier than I want.

Keep writing, friends.


Hi, folks. Tom here. I wish to encourage open, friendly conversation on my blog. I would love to hear from you.

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