Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Please Use This Word

This is a post about a word- one of my favorite words. Please, in fact, USE it--it has been dropped from the dictionary, help to bring it back!

I stumbled on the word years ago while reading the dictionary, something I do for pleasure.

Reading the dictionary, in fact, is something entertaining you can do, such as on a date etc., don't you agree?

I knew someone who was bored by books but loved to read dictionaries. His bookshelves were filled not with books but with every sort of dictionary. He started reading Webster's at "A" and was working his way through. 
'Rainbow A-Z' book art: Karen Hanmer
Karen Hanmer's website link

When I met him he was only on "E." I ran into him a couple of years later and he announced, "I made it to 'Z'!" He had an amazing memory and in this way memorized all the words in the English language.

The word I am trying to popularize is a word from the field of Botany. I found this word in the New Collegiate Webster's many years ago. However, a few years later the word was dropped. Words are dropped from the dictionary as they fall out of use. 

I believe it disappeared because, being a Botany term, nobody used it except botanists. 

That's the problem. People should have recognized what great usefulness this word could have outside the field of Botany. I see in this word so much potential for use in everyday life. Consider it:
Prof. Zee's website link
WORD ORIGIN:  from Greek: peloros, "monstrous," from pelor, "monster."

Example of peloria:

Clover. Clover has an ODD number of leaves, three. That is to say, it is normal for clover to have an irregular number of leaves (3).

Occasionally there is an abnormality-- a four leaf clover- that is, a clover with an even number of leaves. 
In other words, for clover, it is abnormal to have a regular, even number of 

The beautiful symmetry of a four-leaf clover is a peloria, a "monster."

"Unusual regularity in the form of a flower that is normally
site link

"The phenomenon of a regular structure appearing as an
 abnormality in flowers which are usually irregular."

Or as I put it: An abnormally normal flower [or anything] that is normally abnormal.

Gabi Rona
© MPTVimages site link

Do you see how much potential there is in this word- to use well beyond the province of just Botany and flowers? 

Consider all the other sorts of possibilities in our daily lives!

For example: the Munsters had a niece who was all Doris Day-blonde, blue-eyed, cheerful, wholesome. They thought she was very strange and felt sorry for her. She was their peloria, their "monster."
And it sounds pretty, too. . . Peloria. . . It doesn't sound like a technical term at all. Its mellifluous flow can be slipped right into the first sentence of your novel.

A word that truly fills a vacant place in our vocabulary. What a complex thought, that can now be expressed with just one word!

Please join me in using "peloria" creatively in everyday speech, bring it to life as it deserves to be used. 
Let me know if you think of a good use.
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