A Solipsist’s Grandiloquent Susurrus: Wednesday Wordage

Anybody who knows me personally is thrilled (horrified) whenever I learn a new word. In fact, they can’t wait to hear me use that word in every single possible context during conversation or Facebook communication. Okay, perhaps it is an annoying habit, but it is hard to deny that learning a new thing is exciting.

So, here we are! Standing on the threshold, watching the reincarnation of the weekly post about words here on LiteraryFuzz. In the previous years, I have written Wednesday Wordage in a single word to single post format. With the advent of the new year, I decided that the way this blog was written needed to change; hence the focus on a more long-form post style. With this in mind, the board of directors (me) made an executive decision (just thought of the idea now) to include three words with each post.

Without further adieu, let us indulge in some grandiloquence and talk about those funky words.

Grandiloquent

Say: /gran-dil-uh-kwuhnt/    Adjective

Grandiloquent is perhaps the perfect word with which to start this series off. It is one of those rare English words with one meaning. It also has some fantastic synonyms!

  1. Using long or difficult words in order to impress

Grandiloquence noun. Grandiloquently adverb.

It is also the perfect example of what it is describing:

‘Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to sound grandiloquent.’

‘Stop using big words, you’re trying to be grandiloquent.’

-Origin: Latin, grandiloquus, ‘grand-speaking.’

Synonyms: magniloquent, bluster, fanfaronade.

Antonyms: Unpretentious, concise, succinct.

 An example in literature:

It spoke of him in terms of grandiloquent eulogy, and informed the Christian reader that he had died, in the bosom of the Church of England, at …

– J.S. Le Fanu, J.S. Le Fanu’s Ghostly Tales, Volume 5 

Susurrus (also susurration)

Say /Suh-suh-rus/ Noun

Susurrus is another fantastic word. It has a single meaning.

  1. Whispering or rustling

It is usually used as a mass noun to describe something.

The susurrus of the crowd

The susurration of the river

-Origin: Late Middle English: from late Latin susurratio(n-), from Latin susurrare to murmur, hum, from susurrus whisper.

Synonyms: Whisper, rustle, murmur

An example in literature:

The prattle. The dead gossip: it is the reverberation of that gossip against the surface tension of death that the better mediums hear. It is like listening to whispered secrets through a toilet door. It is a crude and muffled susurrus.

– China Miéville, Kraken

Solipsism

Say /sol-ip-siz-uhm/ noun

This was something I experienced as a child while musing world philosophy. When I was a child, I used to wonder if the world was simply there because I was there. If that, when I went to sleep, the world would just cease to exist until I woke up. I am happy to report that these views were smashed when I didn’t grow up to become Neil Gaiman who, as we all know, is the centre of the universe.

So, you can probably guess the meaning of this word.

  1. The view that the self is all that can be known to exist.
  2. The quality of being selfish

Solipsist noun. Solipsistic adjective.

Used in a sentence, it looks like this.

Charlie was a proponent of solipsism.

Solipsism can be an unsightly trait.

-Origin from Latin solus ‘alone’ + ipse ‘self’

Synonyms: egotistic, narcissistic, egocentric

Antonyms: selfless, self-forgetting

An example in literature:

Solipsism is the view that one’s own mind is all that exists, the view that the external world, including other people, other minds, is an illusion

– Gary Cox, Deep Thought: 42 Fantastic Quotes That Define Philosophy


That is it for this week’s wordage! I hope you enjoy the new format and have found at least one new word here. If you have any favourite, strange, or grandiloquent words, please share them with my in the comments below and perhaps they will end up in a future post.

More words next Wednesday.

Thanks for reading.

19 thoughts on “A Solipsist’s Grandiloquent Susurrus: Wednesday Wordage

  1. If you whisper susurrus repeatedly it sounds like comedy whispering.

    Kind of embarrassing that I first had to try it out to reach this conclusion(hundreds of times actually), but I’ll take that grenade in the name of science.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Solipsism is something I’ve stumbled across on several occasions. I believe the first time I encountered it was in a Seamus Heaney poem, but don’t quote me on that.

      Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mandie Hines

    You had me from, “A Solipsist’s Grandiloquent Susurrus.” I’m glad the board approved this idea, and there was a lot of thought put into it. Very amusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the word susurrus, it sounds like it should actually be a whisper itself (there’s probably a word for that – I want to say onomatopoeic…). I was introduced to it a few years ago in a book by the legendary and much mourned Terry Pratchett. If Neil Gaimen is the centre of the universe, Terry would be his nearest neighbour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe you are correct. Susurrus is pretty much onomatopoeic, which is always fantastic for a word. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are like neighbouring universes that both pull and push towards each other. I couldn’t favour one over the other (even though it seems like I prefer Gaiman.) Did you know they were great friends? Have you ever read Good Omens? If not, I highly recommend it.

      Like

      1. I have read it, good omens is fantastic
        – Anathema Device is still one of the best names ever to appear in Literature! I love the fact that Gaimen and Pratchett were such good friends – both men had a big influence on me in my formative years so it seems somehow right that they were as close to each other as they felt to me. I genuinely mourned Sir Terry’s passing, it felt like I’d lost a whole world of close friends.

        Like

  4. Pingback: Narcissist Anagrams As Racist Sins | Chamblee54

  5. Pingback: Versimilitude in Chatoyant Petrichor: Wednesday Wordage – Jordan Reynolds

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