Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I, Lugubrious

"Lugubrious" is one of my favorite words. I even like its definition: Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree. Unfortunately, it is not one of those words you hear spoken out loud very often:

"Hey Earl, that engine's soundin' kinda lugubrious today. Hadn't you better use a higher octane a' gas?"

"Lugubrious" conjures up images of Pooh's sidekick Eeyore. "Lugubrious" conjures up Marvin, the depressed robot from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And "lugubrious" conjures up a delicious sense of self-endulgence and self-pity (i.e. He languished in lugubrious silence, laying on the leather lounger and longing for less lethargic latitudes).

If "lugubrious" were a liquid, it would pour in slow, syrupy drops of congealed verbiage. It is not a word used by manic sportscasters as they hack random phrases off the haunch of the English language with cleaver-like dexterity: He cut through that line like a lugubrious pitbull on a three-wheeled skateboard. No, "lugubrious" is one of those words best served up like an expensive cut of beef...rarely.

Lugubrious, I salute you...but without lots of enthusiasm.


Alex Pendragon said...

Tim, I read this post about three times, thinking to myself, "now, who REALLY wrote this?" I've been reading your stuff for quite awhile now and this is the best I've seen yet. It was something I would have expected to read on the inside front of Time or Newsweek. Not that your stuff isn't usually excellent, but it was like the God of Literacy smacked you upside the head while you were posting. FAR OUT!

Oh, and it wasn't the least bit lubori.....lubrotur......that big word you used.

JP (mom) said...

like to see steven colbert use this as his "the word" lugubrious! brilliant ...

found a D.H. Lawrence quote that goes nicely:

If we lose our sanity ...
We can but howl the lugubrious howl of idiots,
the howl of the utterly lost
howling their nowhereness.

Time said...

Why thank you THE Michael. Perhaps it is because you weren't distracted by any images of my handsome visage. :)

And JanePoe, Wonderful quote. I've howled that lugubrious howl myself. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


Time said...

Why thank you Miss Bliss.

And Cherish, I will try not to go into histrionics here and embarrass myself. I will attempt not to lugubriate myself further when faced with such kind words :)

Anonymous said...

Torpor is another under-used word and an excellent opportunity for the lugubrious to show off their vocabulary.

Time said...

I know you are but what am I?