Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cool words

Scott Ginsberg's post about cool words has reminded me that there are a couple other words that I really like (apart from "angst" which I use at least 5 times a day!). Here they are:

liminal: this word I first came across in at uni in a lecture about the Bertolucci film Il Conformista, where it was used to describe the protagonist - on the threshold of society, not quite belonging, but not an outcast. Originally, I think it is a medical term. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it:
• adjective technical 1 relating to a transitional or initial stage. 2 at a boundary or threshold.
— DERIVATIVES liminality noun.
— ORIGIN from Latin limen ‘threshold’.

crepuscular: this word I found in Antonio Melechi's Fugitive Minds: On Madness, Sleep and Other Twilight Afflictions. When I saw that title in the bookshop, I couldn't not buy it! Crepuscular describes things to do with twilight - semi-nocturnal animals, shadows and all sorts of cool things. This is definitely a word that should be used more often!