No doubt “joy” is an old fashioned word that is seldom used like other eminently descriptive words that have fallen from our vernacular. An unexpected find in the written word can make you pause and appreciate such a simple term. “Joy” embodies a wealth of meaning in a single syllable that everyone can relate to and has a benchmark or touchstone for. I came across “joy” in a short story that I read for class; other words that jumped out at me were “sluiced” and “shimmied” [the thin brown stream of coffee sluiced into the china cup; she shimmied up a tree]. I can’t remember when I last read either of these words.
Another word that I’ve discussed recently with a friend is “obstreperous”, which means resisting control in a noisy manner; unruly. Because of its infrequent use in modern verse, my friend had mangled it into “obstropolis”. The drift in the pronunciation of this word, though hilarious, shows how words do come and go and change in use. I like the new version and plan to slip it into conversation now and then, just to see if it takes hold in my social sphere. Yes, I do experiment on my friends 🙂 It’s always a bit of fun to see what happens.
Try to find your own rarely used or unusual word, or better yet use one in conversation with a friend and see their reaction. Bring back the diversity and richness of meaning by resurrecting these old (and new) words into our lexicon.