Friday, November 4, 2011

Thomas Wolfe's Vocabulary

Whatever else you may think of it, Look Homeward, Angel is good for a little vocabulary building:

phthistic: Archaic Any illness of the lungs or throat, such as asthma or a cough.

stipe: the stem or stalk-like feature supporting the cap of a mushroom

convolve:  to roll together; writhe.

octopal:   resembling or having the characteristics of an octopus. "all the slow octopal movements of her temper" — Thomas Wolfe

guerdon:  reward, recompense.

If you eat poison stipes, you may experience only a phthistic reaction, or possibly an octopal convolving of the intestines will be your guerdon. Better leave 'em alone.

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