I’m using the glossary in this little packet to help me through the “big words” in Infinite Jest. Except when I bump into a word it doesn’t list. Oh snaps! What do I do then? Well…
A quick reminder for everyone: from July 2012 through July 2014 I ran the tumblr A Linguistic Bestiary of David Foster Wallace. In it I posted roughly one word a day (sometimes more) that I’d come across in reading DFW’s nonfiction and novels that I’d never heard of before. For example, on IJ page 24 there’s this:
His last piece of contact from the appropriation artist, with whom he had had intercase, and who during intercourse had sprayed some sort of perfume up into the air from a mister she held in her left hand as she lay beneath him making a wide variety of sounds and spraying perfume up into the air, so that he felt the cold mist of it settling on his back and shoulders and was chilled and repelled, his last piece of contact after he’d gone into hiding with the marijuana she’d gotten for him had been a card she’d mailed that was a pastiche photo of a doormat of course green plastic grass with WELCOME on it and next to it a flattering publicity photo of the appropriation artist from her Back Bay gallery, and between them an unequal sign, which was an equal sign with a diagonal slash across it, and also an obscenity he had assumed was directed at him magisculed in red grease pencil along the bottom, with multiple exclamation points.
The word in question: magisculed. Not in that little packet, but definitely on dfwvocab.
There’s probably just more than 700 words on the site (and more than a handful are duplicates). Go to it. Use it. Expand your vocab. Make yourself a better person. Because that’s what your mother would want.