Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"I can't believe I've lived all these years without knowing this word". . .

Today's "I can't believe I've lived all these years without knowing this word" (courtesy, as ever, of Anu Garg’s magnificent A.Word.A.Day) is . . . wait for it . . . 'tenesmus'.

It is a noun, and it means, "A distressing but ineffectual urge to defecate or urinate."
There - see what I mean? Only think about where and when you might have used this truly remarkable word, and I fully expect you will find possibilities stretching in an unbroken line to the horizon and beyond. (Kindly do not ask me how I know what lies beyond the horizon: let's just say, I have my sources.)

And so I exhort you - make up for lost time, for all those squandered opportunities when you could have used 'tenesmus' and didn't (admittedly for good reason, since up till now you had never heard of the word), and beginning today, simply insert 'tenesmus' into your everyday conversations! Your friends and family will be gobsmacked, as will any potential job interviewer with an ear for unorthodox vocabulary. (You may want to consider carefully the  tension implicit in the phrase, “distressing but ineffectual”;  does this really imply, as indeed it seems to,  that something distressing will, in the normal run of things, be effective?) 

 Also, if indeed you find yourself in a job interview and the subject of tenesmus is raised, consider carefully whether you ought not look for a different job.

And now it’s time for our Exciting Contest: just use “tenesmus” in a sentence of any length, preferably in English, using words containing not more than 15 syllables,  and add it to the Comments section. 
You’ll be glad you did -

And so will I!

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