It’s always good to discover a word for something you know about but have always had to describe in the past, for want of knowing its name.
While working on the third draft of The Wound of Words, I discovered the word girandole. A girandole is a sort of decorative multi-branched candleholding apparatus, frequently wall-mounted rather than ceiling mounted (as with chandeliers), and sometimes backed with mirror for extra light-shedding and sparkliness.
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Have you ever had one of those awkward experiences where it turns out that the exact same word means different things in different varieties of English – or, if it comes to that, any other language? What was the word – and what were the consequences?
One false word, one extra word, and somebody’s thinking about how they have to buy paper towels at the store. Brevity is very important. If you’re going to be longwinded, it should be for a purpose. Not just because you like your words.