Word of the Day: Susurrus

Horror films have always freaked me out. I’m a huge fan if the gore is comedic somehow, but overall I’m hyper-sensitive to suspenseful elements and a bit of a drama queen…and a bit gullible. All it takes is a susurrus as the scene pans over the treeline and I’m all, noooooo don’t go in there! There’s a mummy, a masked murderer, a creature. It’s a trap! Get to the choppah! There’s no hope. Game over, man. Straight up, zero to Humperdink:


Susurrus [soosuruh s], in Latin means a whisper, but the more contemporary definition includes a whisper, a murmur or a soft rustling sound. It’s just enough to put you on edge.  In video, susurruses are a great tool to transition into mysterious scenes without going all Freddie Foreshadowing. In real life, though, if you hear one, maybe run.

And in the meantime, maybe keep on that cardio.

Need more vocabulary? Learn to stultify, endogenously!

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Word of the Day: stultify

Hi there! Sunshine here with a new word for ya. It’s not new-new per se, but in an effort to keep our vocabulary fresh, we’ve got to use it or lose it, amiright?

I recently reread the Harry Potter series. When school is in session and I’m bogged down with projects, I get my HP fix by watching the movies which is all well and good. This summer, though, I’m taking advantage of the extra time on my hands to reread the books which have some very noteworthy differences. In fact, I’ve already ranted about how the folks at Warner Bros missed THE ENTIRE POINT of the series and chose to omit the very point of the story.

And the more you read about the slavery and injustice that exists in the foundations the wizarding world, the more parallels are drawn between it and our society. I can’t help but think that maybe if the true story were the common knowledge story, there might be some young person able to translate  that revolution into terms that our society can benefit from.

But I digress. Don’t get me started, I could do a whole series on the subject of elf rights, centaur legislation and the blatant ignoring of canon (Star Wars fans wouldn’t take that ‘ish!). Today, though, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban – book and movie – can help us understand our word better.

Remember the bogart? The shape-shifting creature that takes on the form of what the viewer fears most? To defeat a bogart, one must use the spell, Ridickulous, whilst transforming the fear into something funny. This is a useful skill to have whether you’re a wizard or a muggle.

If I were face to face with a bogart, it’d probably turn into…a useless bachelor’s degree and a stack of art crap I made that nobody wants. Then, I’d step up to it, wand at the ready, and I’d stultify my fear by envisioning that same art degree useful and gleaming and that art in galleries or, better yet, in the homes of folks who love it.

The goal of working for oneself, making beauty to share with the world writ large is the sort of thing that occurs to me endogenously.

See what I did there? If you missed it, check out last month’s Word of the Day and tune in next time for more Wrays of Sunshine!

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Word of the Day: endogenous

Not to be confused with indigenous or androgynous, the word endogenous means proceeding from within or derived internally. All our beauty is endogenous. Our understanding, our belonging, our place in the natural world originates endogenously, for it is from within that we building the strongest foundation.

Do you love language like me? At some point this past winter I realized I was missing studying vocabulary like we used to do in those SAT days. Then I realized it’s never too late to learn more! And especially now that school is out, I can read new non-school-related books and learn all sorts of new things. Let’s learn together! Try using endogenous in a sentence today.

What are your favorite $10 SAT words in your repertoire? Comment below!

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