I’m currently reading another one of my beloved old British novels. This one isn’t very old at all — circa 1937. It’s Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers and is a mystery. One of the reasons I like British novels is that they are usually much better written than the modern American stuff I come across. Another reason is that they use words like “piffle.” That makes me laugh.

Last night just reading the introduction to this book had me laughing so hard that my bellybutton ached. No, normally these books don’t produce a bellybutton ache, but normally I am not convalescing from a laproscopy where they cut into my bellybutton. Any giggle makes me twinge. Any laughter makes me ache. My husband, obviously concerned with the state of my belly and not with the quiet he requires to read his books, gave me a look that said: “You’re nutty. Be quiet. I’m reading. And you’re not supposed to shake Fat Tom like that.”

I’ve always been a linguophile — or someone who digs words. (I suspect that’s one of the reasons I read Brit Lit. They’re more wordier.) Sometimes it’s the nuances of meanings that I get a kick out of. Other times it’s just the sounds. For example:

fully ambulatory

inebriated (which usually can’t be combined with “fully ambulatory”)

circumlocution

pedantic (which if you use, you usually will end up fulfilling the definition)

enumeration

moratorium

These are all really great words (and phrases). I will award a prize to anyone who can write a single sentence with all of these terms included. Yes, the words must be used correctly and no, you can’t write “I will win a prize if I write moratorium, enumeration, pedantic, circumlocution, inebriated, and fully ambulatory in a sentence.” Your only prize would be a smack.

If you’re looking for something to read, you should check out anything by Dorothy L. Sayers. Her Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries are stellar. I am sad because Busman’s Honeymoon is the last one in the series. It’s like coming to the end of an era — after this book, I’ll have no more new adventures to read. So, I’m limiting myself to reading only a few chapters a day in order to draw it out.

Now I have to go rest some more. I’ve sat up too long and my bellybutton aches. I will also give a prize to anyone who can come up with a scientific-sounding name for an aching bellybutton. (Or for someone who creates contests and promises prizes to people just to get more comments.)

Advertisements