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.
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