2008-02-27

 

lugubrious

What a wonderful word.

A languid, viscous word proceeding out from the pit of chest distending the throat and smothering the tongue as it oozes out.

It is a word that begs for exaggerated pronunciation, loo-oo-oo-goo-oo-oo-bree-ee-ee-us, yet it has a serious short coming:

The meaning is all wrong. It means sad, mournful, gloomy, miserable, melancholic. Yet ... that is not at all what it sounds like. To me, it sounds like it should mean something thick, heavy, slow moving, plodding. I want it to mean languid and viscous, but it doesn't.

I feel cheated, deceived and betrayed.

(There are other words that fit in this category, where the actual meaning is not what I intuitively feel they should be, such as condone or vicarious, their meaning and understanding is a conscious effort.)

I want to use it in sentence like, "He had a lugubrious moustache." and I want it to mean he had a large, heavy, drooping walrus moustache.

I want to be able to say, "He was feeling lugubrious." and have it mean that he was in a lazy, contented, unhurried mood.

While I can say those things, they don't mean what I want them to.

Image nabbed from here.

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Comments:
There is nothing worse than finding out a word doesn't mean what you thought it did! It requires un-learning and finding new words to say what you want to say.
 
It reminds me of the Stones song: You can't always get what you want :-)
 
hmph...
i never know that a word can have quite many meanings...

how do you know that richard?
 
barbara: unlearning words is definitely hard (I have only had to do that with vicarious). This is more a case of the word having the wrong shape for its meaning.

It may be a silly thing to say, but that is how I feel about it.

renny: I am not asking for much, just for there to be order and structure and everything fits together nicely.

ancilla: actually, it doesn't, but I think it has the wrong meaning.
 
*cack* Lugubrious sounds like it's got the consistency of really thick snot that's very hard to shift from the back of the throat.
 
ohh thanks Richard,i learned a new word from you.thanx sirrrrrrrrrrrr! haha!

allies
 
Well, sadness and gloom are heavy. They lumber along dragging you down.
Maybe onamatapoiea just doesn't work for you here!
 
aka r'acquel: yes, that is another way of describing it because it definitely catches in the back of the throat when you get to the -gu- part of it.

ghee: how many blogs do you have?

MOI: it certainly does not sound like an onomatopoeic form of sadness.
 
Yes, I occasionally encounter words with much the same feeling. You are right... lugubrious really begs to mean languorous, lethargic, slow.
 
breal: glad that I am not the only one who thought that.
 
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