The Angry Corrie 36: Apr-May 98

TAC 36 Index

Useless Equipment, No 9 - More Big Words

It's been over two years, now, since TAC last warned readers of the dangers of setting out into the hills without adequate lexicographic preparation (TAC22, p3). TAC, of course, has maintained its output of big words in the meantime, aided by such sesquipedalian giants as Paul Hesp and Perkin Warbeck (as well as a few frankly made-up bons mots from the Ed). The words offered in these pages in recent months have been individually tested and, if frequently uttered, will help preserve vital body heat, guide the arrival of rescuers, and take 30% of the load off the knees.

But still we hear reports of walkers who set out inadequately prepared. A spokesperson for the Glen Coe Mountain Rescue recently told us: "Well, we try not to make negative comments about the walkers who are the subject of call-outs. But frankly, we've seen some people this winter who were inarticulate, monosyllabic or damn near dysphasic. They couldn't have talked their way out of a paper bag, let alone a whiteout with seventy-mile-an-hour winds on the back of Bidean."

With this in mind, we offer another selection of ten useful big words, together with suggestions on how they may be quickly and safely deployed in a hill setting.

Gyromancy (n): A method of divination involving turning in circles until dizzy enough to fall over

"That's the last time I let him navigate. It was like bloody gyromancy in the mist on Kinder Scout."

Myrmidons (n): A mythical race of men created from ants; hence, any industrious but objectionable lackey

"So then the duke's myrmidon said, 'OK, you can go up there if you want, but don't blame me if you get shot.'"

Bathukolpian (adj): Deep-bosomed

"Chris Brasher says the Cairngorms are bathukolpian. D'you think he's seen The Devil's Point?"

Nefandous (adj): Unspeakably evil

"Sorry, I've had these socks on for three days. They've gone a bit nefandous on me."

Prosopopoeia (n): Speaking of an inanimate object as if it were human

"Have you heard the way she talks about her damn GPS receiver? She's totally prosopopoeic about it."

Noctivagant (adj): Wandering by night

"So we were completely noctivagant coming down off Kinder. The pubs were closed!"

Hummadruz (n, obs): The mysterious, directionless, humming buzz audible on very still days in the open country

"And there was just no wind at all on the top. I was near deafened by the hummadruz."

Phalacrocoracine (adj): Pertaining to a cormorant

"Aye, I've been on the hill with Dave Hewitt. He's got a phalacrocoracine appetite for the sardine, I'll tell you that."

Eleemosynary (adj): Charitable

"No, he'd brought no food at all. So I came over a bit eleemosynary and gave him a bite of my Pepperami."

Kakopygean (adj): Possessed of ugly buttocks

(As previously, we leave the appropriate use of one word as an exercise for the interested reader.)

Grant Hutchison

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