Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday





Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog where we share new or unfamiliar words encountered in our reading.  If you've come across some interesting words this week, feel free to join in the fun.




My words are all from The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, and definitions come from dictionary.com.

susurrus: a soft murmuring or rustling sound; whisper.

Over a susurrus of awed mutterings, he told us that Robson had been cut down in the flower of youth, that his demise was a loss to the whole school, and that we would all be symbolically present at the funeral. (p.13-14)

nonpareil: having no equal; peerless.
(it's always meant small sugar pellets used for decorating cookies, etc. to me - definition number 3)

Also between Veronica and Brother Jack, whose life and deportment she clearly regarded as nonpareil: he was the appointed judge when she asked publicly of me - and the question gets more condescending with each repetition - "He'll do, won't he?" (p.47)

solipsistic: of or characterized by solipsism,  or the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.

My first reaction was, I admit, solipsistic. (p. 150)








24 comments:

  1. Definitely nonpareil to me means the little chocolate things!

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  2. Too funny - I thought the same thing about nonpareil! Thanks for playing along today!

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  3. Sno-caps are nonpareil. And I mean both definitions. ;)

    Susurrus is a great word - it sounds just like what it means.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I agree with nonpareil being the chocolate covered in white sprinkles.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/01/wondrous-words-wednesday.html

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  5. I have this book on my list to read this year. Now I'm ready for the new words, if I can remember them.

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  6. I love susurrus, because it sounds so much like what it is. Great words!

    My words are here.

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  7. I'm always amazed at the words that Kathy finds in her reading--and these are some great ones, too. Don't think I've ever heard of susurrus before!

    I'm terrible at just browsing over words that I don't know.

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  8. What a fun meme. I've recently read The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides - there were so many new words in that book for me. I consisdered a blog post on just that! I look forward to reading Sense of an Ending and appreciating the new words for me.

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  9. susurrus is a great word to remember for scrabble but it would take up a lot of your s's

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  10. Great words....I loved how they were used in their sentences!!

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  11. LOL...I've only ever known the candy definition of nonpareil too.

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  12. Susurrus sounds like its meaning. Very nice WWW. :)

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  13. Great words. I like the way susurrus sounds and another definition for nonpareil.
    Joy's Book Blog

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  14. I have this book sitting next to my bed, waiting to go. What interesting words! It makes me keener to read it. Nonpareil are little sprinkles for me too.

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  15. Thanks for the comments everyone! I have loved words/vocabulary for as long as I can remember and will continue to participate in Wondrous Words Wednesdays from time to time.

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  16. These are some great words and the sentences are a good indication of the beautiful writing in this book.

    I really like 'susurrus' although it's a bit of a tongue twister for me :o),
    Nonpareil's definition is interesting but I think it'll always mean the little candies to me!

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  17. I love words. I especially enjoy susurrus :)

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  18. Hi JoAnn,

    The only one of your words that was new to me was 'Susurrus' and I think that it sounds delightful, it almost sounds like a whisper when you say it out loud.

    Yvonne

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  19. Hi JoAnn,

    I have definitely only ever heard of nonpareil in the context of being the French word for something which has no equal.

    Here in the UK we certainly don't get the sweets to which all your US contributors refer. We do get a flat chocolate sweet covered in sprinkles, that is called a Gem or Jazzie (picture about half way down the first page)

    http://www.inveraray-sweets.com/misc.htm

    Sprinkles is also a relatively new word over here as well, although I gues we have imported it from the US, they always used to be called 'hundreds and thousands' when I was a child.

    Yvonne

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  20. I have run across the word solipsism a number of times and have had to consult dictionary a number of times. I find Anita Brookner uses a lot of unfamiliar words. Besides getting the meaning I practice pronouncing them hoping that I will be able to use them some day but maybe I'd sound a bit too literary.

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  21. I don't claim that I know every word in the book, but know enough to follow the story, which is mesmerizing. So, it's something I can go back to reread and learn more vocabulary later. But the first reading is just to catch the flow of the plot, follow the characters, and be amazed at the economy of words in the hands of a master storyteller. I hope you've enjoyed it. ;)

    Arti

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  22. i am seeing this book all over the book blog world. i might have to add it to my tbr list

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  23. Amy - Nonpareil will always mean the little candies to me ;-)

    Terri B. - Susurrus was a totally new word for me, too. I love it!

    Yvonne - Thanks for such interesting comments. The sweet labeled jazzies are called nonpareils here, but the little candies are usually all white. 'Hundreds and thousands' is such a great name for sprinkles, too!

    Kay Clifton - Solipsism is one word I seem to look up over and over again. Hopefully, by including it this blog post, I will remember the definition next time!

    Arti - Exactly, and I did enjoy it. Was tickled to discovered the word 'susurrus'. It prompted me to write the post.

    Mel U - The Sense of an Ending was one of my favorite books of 2011. Hope you get a chance to read it this year.

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  24. I knew nonpareil, but yeah, to me it's the candy.

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