Superfluous Lexicon #3

Finally, what we've all been waiting for: The Third Edition of the Superfluous Lexicon!

Sax Carrby Sax Carr

I'm absolutely certain you're chomping at the bit so let's get right into it.  No preface necessary, but if this your first Superfluous Lexicon, here are some words you might like!


Verisimilitude is a measurement of the amount of truth in a false statement. Now, if that's confusing, that's why I did this one first. It's an important term when discussing relative truth, or mathematical logic. My name is Zack, and I write for Crave, therefore everyone named Zack writes for Crave. The conclusion is wrong, and thus, that statement would have two-thirds verisimilitude.

Example Sentence: Statistically, when combining all the figures, politicians as a whole have about 10% verisimilitude.



While it looks like a website for finding someone to marry, espouse means to advocate, or stand behind an ideal. The Chinese espouse Communism, while we Americans don't espouse much because we consume too much to stand behind anything. That's not true. We espouse the virtues of Coca-Cola, Kid Rock and Viagra. Because we're f***ing America.

Example Sentence: I can't put my name on a product I can't espouse. Try George Foreman.


This is, absolutely, without a doubt, one of my favorite words. In fact, many of it's synonyms are incredible too. Banal means something like droll or ordinary, but more painfully. If something is banal, it is so mundane, so uncompromisingly trite that it is making you less interesting as a person just by being near it. The DMV is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Or CNN.

Example Sentence: Scorpion sits and patiently does Sub-Zero's taxes. Banality.


Traditionally only used by people who create or perform musicals and operas — or the terminally snooty — Libretto is the term used for the spoken words of a musical or lyrics of an opera. Before you tune out completely (oh, man, that pun totally wasn't intended, but I freakin' accidenailed it), the word comes up more often than you think. Any time you're trying to talk about that time in Les Miserables when Gavroche says "General Lemarque is dead!", that's the libretto. Okay, I just realized that might not come up that much. I grew up in NY and live in West Hollywood. Everyone I talk to wants to discuss musicals. Well, next time you go to Broadway for a nice show, you're welcome.

Example Sentence: Who would have guessed that libretto, a word about musicals, would sound kinda gay?


Say it. Just say it. Say it a thousand times. It will never get old. In fact, the more you say it, the more you want to say it. It's destroyed lives. So, persnickety, the heroin of words, means fussy or picky in a snobby sort of way. Little old ladies that need to have dinner at exactly 4pm are persnickety. Celebrities who only drink the bottled water that freshly sprang from a Peruvian mountain's asshole are persnickety. (In a 4 week old callback, all hipsters are totally persnickety.)

Example Sentence: Wolverine cleaned his adamantium claws carefully, making sure every last inch was glistening silver. When he retracted them, they went persnikty.


This one is used quite often within my circle of friends, so I was genuinely surprised when I found out it's not really part of the vernacular anymore. Moxie, named after the Coke and Pepsi competitor of the early 20th century, has become a word that means something in between courage, prowess and ambition, but not exactly any of those things. It's just… moxie. It's a certain something that some people have, and it gives them permission to make finger guns or wear suspenders. They can do it because they have moxie.

Example Sentence: When a word stays around long after the product it pertained to dies, and still has a positive connotation all those years later, well, clearly that word has moxie.


Derived from a number of Latiny things, capitulate means to surrender, but traditionally in a civilized way. You do not capitulate if you say "Fine, you win!" and storm out of the room. You also don't make many friends that way. When you lay down your arms and respectfully offer your capitulation, people just generally like you more. Maybe it isn't just a word you should know. Maybe knowing this word will make everyone more decent to each other, just by being aware that it's an option. I'm saying I don't like arguments.

Example Sentence: People make fun of how often the French capitulate, but those people have never gotten into an argument with a Frenchman about food.


We end with a word that will always make you sound like a douche. But that's something you'll have to live with now, because it's fun to say and you can use it a lot. All apropos means, despite it's haughty sound, is suitable or befitting. You can see it has the same roots as appropriate, so that's a pretty good gauge.

Example Sentence: As a massive douche, the fact that I ended with such a douchey sounding word is extremely apropos.