This week’s words:Varoom, Vague, Venue, Vagrant.
‘Varoom!’ is usually used as the sound of a vehicle accelerating away; it’s commonly used in comic books. I’m not sure it’s particularly representative of the sound it’s intended to depict. However, I can’t think of a more descriptive word to express this one. As an environmentalist, I’d love to see this rather ‘evocative’ sound replaced with something more truly descriptive of the damage such activity does to the atmosphere, but such a word is hardly likely to act as an onomatopoeia.
Simile: Vague as a dream:
Are dreams vague? I’ve heard people describe them as startlingly real, detailed, intense, but rarely as vague. I have difficulty recalling dreams, and I’ve little interest in these nightly experiences that I suspect result from the brain acting like a computer defragging an overloaded hard drive. I also think our memories are probably similar to a hard drive, and poor memory associated with age are mostly down to overload as we accrue more memories with the passing years. But I’m no neurologist, so I’m probably way off here.
Back to a ‘vague’ simile. It may be that this simile is referring to dreams of the ‘aim’ or ‘hoped for’ type, but these also tend to be rather more specific than vague. So, is there something more suited to this amorphous quality that we might use as a simile? ‘Vague as a politician’s pledge, a commercial contract, a shape seen through mist/fog, an article of faith, a promise of an afterlife?’ I’m sure you can conjure more. Have a go.
Collective Nouns: Venue of vultures:
Not the most apposite collective noun I’ve come across. A venue, after all, is generally understood to be a specific rather than a general place. Vultures gather where there’s something freely available for their advantage. Hence we have actual vultures gathering around corpses of dead wildlife, and, of course, metaphorical vultures congregating round the deathbed of a passing relative. The term is even sometimes applied to those essential disposers of the dead, undertakers.
So, if we’re looking for a collective noun for vultures, perhaps we should consider a ‘carcass of vultures, a squabbling of vultures?’ And, if we want to use venue as a collective noun, perhaps it would more properly be applied to a ‘venue of performers, a venue of players?’ As collective nouns are not set in stone, we can use our imaginations and apply what we wish to various groups.
Delusional Dictionary: Vagrant: an individual who fails to match the definition of normality determined by a prejudiced police officer; any person occupying a space the owner would prefer remained vacant; a person made homeless due to excessive demands on their meagre income.
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