Some time ago I signed up for some handy little daily email that sends me a word for the day. The idea being to increase my puny and frequently inaccurate vocabulary. Mostly this is good. Oh okay so I ignore the fast majority of them and can remember exactly um… one (but that one is “jollification” which means what it sounds like and it brilliant) but still. Even so, I’ve started to suspect the system has run out of words I can be reasonably expected to use in conversation or writing and is now just taking the piss.
Take today’s word: deus ex machina.
Okay it’s pretty, yes, but what’s its meaning?
“In ancient Greek and Roman drama, a god introduced by means of a crane to unravel and resolve the plot.”
Great, that’ll come in handy, then. Can't think how many times I've been at a loss to describe just that.