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Friday, February 28, 2014

Lessons in Fauxcabulary - Embiggening the Soul

by Reid:

Once again I find myself having been inspired by The Simpsons. The creative genius of its writers introduced me to a couple of neologisms (newly coined words) that expanded my vocabulary in a good way. The words are: "embiggens" and "cromulent."

As it turns out, the town motto for Springfield comes from Jebediah Springfield who said: "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." When Mrs. Krabappel said she had never heard the word embiggens before moving to Springfield, her fellow teacher Miss Hoover said "I don't know why. It's a perfectly cromulent word." I therefore can't resist waxing eloquent about other cromulent uses of the word embiggens.

The first thing the word embiggens did was make me miss George W. Bush who had a penchant for inadvertent neologisms and malapropisms (here for an old post on Bushisms). This longing is undoubtedly heightened by our current political woes.

But secondly I thought of Alma's great sermon on faith in which he likens the word of God to a seed. When planted in our hearts and nurtured by faith, a good seed enlarges our soul and enlightens our understanding (Alma 32:28). As we cultivate the word, we may expect to see the seed yield fruits that include gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness and pure knowledge. These will "greatly enlarge the soul" (D&C 121:41-42; see also Alma 5:9). When we taste this fruit, it is delicious, satisfying and ennobling. We could cromulently say that we are embiggened.

If he would aspire to greatness, a man must plant in his heart the word of God. Then, as he carefully cultivates it, he will be embiggened as God ennobles his spirit.

How is that for a fauxcabulary lesson?

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Reid is an endocrinologist from Henderson, Nevada. He's blessed with wonderful wife and three great kids. His interests are charitably characterized as eclectic: cycling, fly-fishing, history, travel and the coinage of the Flavian dynasty of Imperial Rome. With a deep-seated belief that people habitually do dumb things, he's trying really hard to keep things positive. People are not making it any easier these days. The gospel has helped a lot. Blog:
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