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10 Underused Words in the English Language

Courtesy of A.I. James

    1. "Percolate"

    To percolate is to seep through the cracks. But we don't use it when something good happens. Like, "My happiness percolated through my sadness."

    2. "Tincture"

    A tincture is a very small amount of something added to another thing. Like, "I have a tincture of regret for my actions."

    3. "Squalor"

    Squalor is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “the state or condition of being dirty and untidy”. But I think it should also mean “unclean thoughts” because that’s what leads to dirty and untidy living.

    4. "Gossamer"

    Gossamer is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “a very light filament or cobweb that floats in the air on warm summer evenings”. It should also be used to describe an ephemeral thought or idea that you can almost see but not quite grasp.

    5. "Incorporate"

    To incorporate is to make part of a bigger whole. But we don't use this word when describing our lives growing and changing with each new experience and learning. We say we are getting older but never say we are incorporating our experiences into who we are getting older.

    6. "Mollify" or "Apologize". Or both!

    When someone hurts us, sometimes we want them to mollify us (to soothe) and sometimes we want them to apologize (to admit wrongdoing). In either case, these are important words for relationships because they help us move forward instead of stagnating in anger or hurt feelings.

    7. "Bemuse" or "Amuse"? Which one? How? Why? When? Etc...!

    Bemuse means to confuse or puzzle while amuse means to entertain with a joke or story or other entertainment activity. Both words could be used more often in describing our daily lives since most people spend much time trying to befuddle others (bemuse) and/or entertain others (amuse).

    8. A few more

    but I'm out of space!
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