A New Word

I learned a new word today, one I don’t recall having encountered before. According to the dictionary, it dates back to the Middle Ages.

Here it is: gallimaufry.

It means a hodgepodge or jumble.

I read it in this sentence by magazine columnist Marc Allum: “…I find antiques fairs a wonderful gallimaufry of characters, dogs and desperate-looking eccentrics.” (PERIOD LIVING magazine, June 2013)

What a delightful discovery, proof yet again that our language is rich with treasure if we will only mine it.

As American magazines continue to decline into thin, meager ghosts of their former selves, limping along on thumbnail-sized photos, running more white space and less text, and promising readers additional information if they will only visit the publication’s Web site, I say “phooey!”

They have fallen into the loop of destruction, adopting a pictorial blog format in an attempt to emulate the creature that’s supposedly killing them, dumbing down their content to captions (and atrocities such as clutter-less), and thereby ensuring their almost certain demise.

I’m defecting to British magazines. Yeah, they cost more, about $2-3 on average. And they offer more. They’re still thick with plenty of monthly content. They offer full-sized articles–aka SOMETHING TO READ–along with huge photos and plenty of ’em, and erudite writers who use words like gallimaufry.

What a treat!

Now I just have to learn how to pronounce it properly.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “A New Word

  1. Loved your comments….thank you for such a positive take on British magazines….and my writing. Best wishes, Marc.

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