Although it's well known that I know every word worth knowing in the English language, it occurred to me that I may not know the words not worth knowing. That is, the worthless words. The following words are unnecessary and should be removed from the dictionary as soon as possible.
dictionary. How often do you use this word? How versatile is it? The only time you ever have call to say 'dictionary' is when you have to go use the dictionary. It's absolutely true - I can guarantee that you will never say the following phrases:
Hey baby, I've got an attractive antique dictionary.*
Don't bother with Wikipedia, we'll look it up in the dictionary.
Are you bleeding? Don't worry, we'll apply the dictionary.
Reese Witherspoon recently separated from
her dictionarythat ridiculous ponce.
From now on, when you need to use that book (see? It's a book. That's a nice short word.), just say, "I need to look that word up in this book. This... wordbook".
gouache. Why don't you know the meaning of this word? In the Oxford Wordbook, the entry reads as follows:
gouache(goo-osh). [Fr., ad. It. guazzo] Hah. Oh man. You actually looked this up, hey? We're caught. Hands down. We just made this up in like, 1550 or something. This book's full of made-up words. Like 'hobbit'. Please don't say anything.
elf. Not so much a word as a category that should be abolished and expunged from memory. Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Halfling, Orc, Ent, Uruk-buttfuck-hai. These words are heavy stones, hewn from the living rock of Balrogistan or whatever, that weigh down the souls of pre-teen boys.
matrix. In 1999, moviegoers wondered - What Is The Matrix? In 2003, The Matrix turned out to be a cruel joke on moviegoers. Not only did the Wachowskis introduce cheap post-structuralist philosophy and wire-fu to mainstream movies, they also polluted a serviceable word. Remember the good old days when The Matrix was a virtual world being fed to us by a race of machines using our slumbering bodies as a power source (somehow)? Those were good times. Simple times. Then it was a place where sentient software hid from The Source? And then it was - something else? And the whole thing ends with that smart-talking Colonel Sanders on a park bench? Why did I pay for that shit?
foodie. If we all hold hands, close our eyes and pray really hard, we can kick the hell out of anyone who self-describes with this word. We really can.
grille. So some people want to look like cars. So they have their mouths fitted with a crusty rack of metal. So they look like low-rent villains from your average post-apocalyptic eighties flick. Let them do what makes them happy. Just don't ever mention it.
*Actually, I have a kick-ass Compact OED with the magnifying glass in its sliding cardboard compartment, and I think I've impressed a few women with it. A few.