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Monday, 17 December 2007

Obscure words . . .

Old words are the new black. It's official. I thoroughly enjoyed James Meek's article on unfamiliar words and I have had my particular favourites for a long time now (please see my debut EVERYDAY for a sense of this). But yesterday was the first time I have ever used such a word in an argument. And in public too! I shall elucidate:

Islington's Upper Street, near the junction with Camden Passage. I dutifully push the button in order for me to cross the road safely. The red light appears; a bus, a white van, a moped and several cars stop accordingly, as they should, to allow me to cross the road. As I am crossing some cretin* on a bicycle jumps the red light. He doesn't hit me, or scare me, but he does rile me, enough for me to shout "Highway Code!" at him to which he stops and shouts back "Get a life! Get a life!"

I walk away rather rattled. I walk for about ten meters and then something snaps in side me. I walk back towards the cyclist. I find him locking his expensive bike to a fence by Fredrick's restaurant. I approach him. The following conversation took place. Verbatim. He was very aggressive:

ME: Excuse me, but you just jumped a red light.
HIM: Oh fuck off and get a life!
ME: But you can't do that.
HIM: I didn't hit you; what's your fucking problem, you dickhead?
ME: That isn't the point! That doesn't make it right! You jumped the red light. You could have hit me! Just because you didn't hit me doesn't make this right.
HIM: So why are you back here?
ME: To make my point!
HIM: You're thick! Fucking thick!
ME: And you're an ultracrepidarian! Look that up in the dictionary!
HIM: A what? A what? Get your hair cut!
ME: I will, only if you clean your teeth!

With this I walked off! Admittedly, I should never have walked back in the first place, I should have just walked home, as I was doing, but cyclists (I am a keen cyclist myself) who jump red lights annoy me so much.

Ultracrepidarian is by far my favourite word. And to use it in such circumstances makes me a very happy man.

* Oh, if by some crazed stretch of the imagination you may be reading this please feel free to click right about >>>HERE<<<

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