As some of you regulars will have picked up over time, I am always delighted to come across what is to me a completely new word. By and large I don't count 'swot' words from the more abstruse corners of science and technology which no-one other than the 'men in white coats' would use, not least because I suspect many of them are made up in order to put off non-expert intruders into their cosy little worlds. I come across those sorts of words fairly frequently when I make my periodic attempts to read incomprehensible books promising to explain quantum physics, or fluid mechanics, or the languages of ancient Mesopotamia. Usually by page 10, and after the first six 'new' words have arisen which I have to look up in my trusty OED, I give up and return to my beloved Pulp Fiction.
But this morning, joy of joys, I discovered a new word on Ms. Raccoon's ever-excellent site. Not too suprising because she and her occasional contributors are an erudite lot who write very clear, elegant and literate English, you know, a bit like wot you gets 'ere'! This morning I discover she is giving the NSPCC a cruel but well-deserved kicking and I was on the point of offering to hold her coat and urging her to give 'em one for me - because I detest the NSPCC - when she used this phrase: "the bariatricly challenged elephant in the room". Instantly I paused - goody-goody, I thought, a new word. "Bariatricly" - now what does that mean? Engrossed in the blood sport I was watching, or reading, I decided to come back to it later and tried to press on but . . . no, it kept nagging at me . . . bariatricly . . . what does it mean? Well, of course, in the end I had to stop, swing my revolving office chair round to the shelf behind me upon which lies my always open edition of the OED which also doubles up as a weight training device! But then came the shock which nigh reduced me to tears - I couldn't find the word! My OED had let me down. The single volume upon which I have utterly depended during nine years of blogging had failed me! "Oh the horror . . . the horror!"
And, no, I'm not going to tell you what it means, if you weren't such a bariatric slob you would get off your arse and look it up! Oooops, have I given the game away?