The 29-Day Blogging Challenge: V is for Verisimilitude
Of all the words in the English language, this one – verisimilitude – is perhaps my favourite. It just rolls off the tongue, musically and poetically, and contains all sorts of meaning. Classically defined as referring to truth, or the likelihood of truth, verisimilitude can be used to refer to a person and his or her preponderance to probability.
Interestingly, there is no concise consensus of how many words comprise the English language, perhaps because it is such an adaptable, evolving vocabulary. Some dictionaries list around a half-million; others list more than double that, accounting for slang and technical terminology that seeps into every day usage (e.g. using ‘Google’ as a verb). Some estimates say that around 25,000 new words are added to that list each year.
It’s no wonder that English is considered one of the hardest languages to learn, having numerous rules but multiple exceptions to each one. In many ways I consider myself lucky to have been brought up and educated in English, with no need to learn it as a second language. But despite being a native speaker, English continues to confuse and confound me, especially with some of the finer points of grammatical conduct and proper usage of ‘who’ and ‘whom’.
But truthfully, or perhaps verisimilitudinally (and yes I just made that one up), the language has some beautifully crafted words, most of which rarely get used in daily conversation. One of my friends loves the fact that both Jill and I use the term ‘copious’ (meaning ‘a lot,’ as in “Perhaps my wife had copious amounts of wine with dinner last night”) regularly, and considers this an indication of our Canadianism. I’m not sure that diverse vocabulary usage is evidence of one’s nationality, but perhaps it is. Regardless, or irregardless despite the term’s reluctant acceptance in official English lexicon, verisimilitude remains one of my favourite words in the lingua franca that is my mother tongue.
Previous posts: Introducing the 29-Day Blogging Challenge; A is for Anonymity; B is for Busses; C is for Canada; D is for Dogs;E is for Expatriate; F is for Failure;G is for Google; H is for Hedgehog; I is for Indian food; J is for Jill, obviously; K is for Kurt Cobain; L is for Listerine; M is for Mac&Cheez; N is for Night; O if for Olfactory Dysfunction; P is for Photography; Q if for Quest For Fire; R is for Religion; S is for Stockholm; T is for The Local; U is for Urban Living