This is an interesting Oxford website: Save the Words. You can find an unfamiliar word, and sign up promising to use it in conversation and correspondence. Clever and quirky, sure–but kinda silly at the same time, no?

Swift, in his petty treatise on the English language, allows that new words must sometimes be introduced, but proposes that none should be suffered to become obsolete. But what makes a word obsolete, more than general agreement to forbear it? and how shall it be continued, when it conveys an offensive idea, or recalled again into the mouths of mankind, when it has once by disuse become unfamiliar, and by unfamiliarity unpleasing.
–Samuel Johnson, “Preface” to the Dictionary (1755)

One of my favorite Johnson words is “frigorifick.” I point it out to my students when I teach Johnson, mostly to mock him for using such a stupid word–and that’s the only time I ever bring it up in conversation. But if you guys want to go around saying things like

“Delicious prandicles, Joan!”


“Samuel Johnson’s style is binoternary.”

you go right ahead. There’s no one to stop you from tilting at windmills of your own choosing.