Joseph Heller has an impressive and extensive vocabulary. His sentences are so complex and intricate, that I find myself lost and winding through the sentences again and again. I have to pause regularly to look up new words. Inspired by Kimberly, I thought I’d share the words I’m learning as well!
- Vituperation: vi·tu·per·a·tion (noun) – bitter and abusive language
Yossarian let the girl drag him through the lovely Roman spring night for almost a mile until they reached a chaotic bus depot honking with horns, blazing with red and yellow lights and echoing with the snarling vituperations of unshaven bus drivers pouring loathsome, hair-raising curses out at each other, at their passengers, and at the strolling, unconcerned knots of pedestrians clogging their paths, who ignored them until they were bumped by the buses and began shouting curses back.
- Esoteric: esəˈterik (adjective) – intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest
The man and woman stepped into the room stiffly side by side as though right out of a familiar, though esoteric, anniversary daguerreotype on a wall.
- Truculence (noun) – defiance, aggression
His round white cap was cocked in an insolent tilt, his hands were clenched, and he glared at everything in the room with a scowl of injured truculence.
- Otiose: o·ti·ose (adjective) – serving no practical purpose or result
His own girl sat sprawled out gracelessly on an overstuffed sofa with an expression of otiose boredom.
- Torpid: tor·pid (adjective) – mentally or physically inactive; lethargic.
Nately was unnerved by her torpid indifference to him, by the same sleepy and inert pose that he remembered so vividly, so sweetly, and so miserably from the first time she had seen him and ignored him at the packed penny-ante blackjack game in the living room of the enlisted men’s apartment.
- Lissome: lis·some (adjective) – (of a person or their body) thin, supple, and graceful
A lissome, blonde, sinuous girl with lovely legs and honey-colored skin laid herself out contentedly on the arm of the old man’s chair and began molesting his angular, pale, dissolute face languidly and coquettishly.