Fastidious

Adjective

Being almost anal about details, meticulous, keeping everything neat and by the book.

“I had to count out each coin as the fastidious ten-year-old logged them in his notebook, five long minutes for a plastic cup of lemonade.”

Fastidious is frequently used to describe pedantic behavior. For example, if you’ve a very particular way of doing things that, if not abided, will cause mild distress.

“My husband was a fastidious critic of my dress, displeased with the slightest rumple or a color that did not match his shirt. Looking back, he might’ve been autistic.”

Potato Chips

I’ve touched roses and smelled the sweet blossoms of spring. Naked in the summer moonshine. I’ve stood on the low-tide breakers at dawn, sun rise over the Caroline coast. Beauty, as you’d have it, golden leaves that drift to the lawn –I am no stranger: a come-home whiff of birch burning on a fire stove. The slow fall of snowflakes that christen the lawn. We’re children, in the comfort of the warmth indoors. Shake-out a cold sweater. Leave the dust for the motes. Wake for the burning sun.

The sun was soft for the graduation field. Black gowns and black caps. The rays down on the principal who spoke his peace: Love, economy, success. The wealth of nations, the burden of gods. Soak in the righteous face of a dollar. Stand up! This is your time to speak. The doctor is here to see you, he is the CEO. No more burning in a dark bed for you.

Hairstyles are timely. So are your jeans: the bum-warming leather of a luxury car seat.

Potato chips.

Desultory

Adjective

Not getting anywhere because you’re moving in arbitrary, haphazard directions.

“The idea had been Denver, but Neil was a desultory driver and we spent days in St. Louis before stopping in Memphis to call on Lisa.”

“Our desultory conversations hatched fantastic plans that had nothing to do with Denver and everything to do with not staying in one place for very long.”

(Note: Merriam-Webster lists “disappointing in progress, performance, or quality” as a third definition, but that’s shit usage for a great word. Consider this example:

“The first two games, desultory losses at Denver and Chicago, certainly validated the camp that feels the Seahawks’ era of dominance has ended.” (The Seattle Times)

Here, desultory means disappointing and gives the noun no new qualities. If you’re going to use a great word like desultory, use it in a way that connotes a new quality.)


Abrogate

Verb, transitive

Ending something (usually a law) by official decree, law, or authority:

“The Republican-controlled Congress was unable to abrogate much of the ACA.”

Also, effectively ending something by ignoring it:

“Ever the optimist, Gerry thought he could abrogate the restraining order.”


Excrescence

Noun

An abnormal growth.

“He tried to hide his bulbous excrescence with a fake mustache. It looked just okay.”

An excrescence is also an unwanted, superfluous addition, development, add-on, etc. As in: “Tyler is an excrescence. I’m not sure why they brought him along.”

Or: “The developers built several excrescent office buildings in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill.”

Expostulate

Verb, intransitive

To fervently reason in opposition to an idea, action, etc.

“He didn’t stop expostulating the whole way there. Like, how many reasons could a ten-year-old have for not going to a birthday party?”

(Note: Expostulate is mostly used as an intransitive verb, but the transitive use is still valid, eg, “The defense attorney expostulated the idea that her client would ever set the Robinsons’ car on fire.”)

Noun, expostulation

Gourmand

Noun

Connoisseur who eats and drinks excessively, similar to a glutton but with more self-control. They just really like getting their taste buds rubbed.

(Note: Gormand is an acceptable variation, preferred by anyone trying to avoid an aristocratic tone.)

“I stopped inviting Pumblechook to dinner because, well, he’s a gormand and watching him chase his tenderloin with heaped spoons of creamed corn is just, disgusting.”

(Note: Collins and Merriam-Webster note that “glutton” is an obsolete definition of gormand, which is supposed to have less of a negative connotation. Oxford and American Heritage only mention that a gormand “eats too much”. So while probably not gluttonous, a gormand is going to eat until they’re stuffed, and then maybe smoke a clove cigarette before ordering the tiramisu.)

Gormandize

“You wouldn’t want to share a table or a bed with him. He makes love the same way he gormandizes.”

Gormandize can also be used as an intransitive verb, so, yes, you can gormandize the shit out of your cheesy meatloaf.