Over the Christmas holidays I dug out my dictionary and learned a few new words. The first was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day a couple of weeks ago. The second is the word I’d have used.
1 : to give off or reflect light in bright beams or flashes : sparkle
2 : to be brilliant or showy in technique or style
1 : to emit sparks : spark
2 : to emit quick flashes; sparkle (stars scintillate in the sky)
3. to throw off, as a spark or as sparkling flashes (scintillate witticisms)
Here’s tale I wrote to use my new word:
Lacey stood by the entry to the restaurant and smiled as her new friend walked through the door.
“Hope you haven’t been waiting long?”
“No, just got here.” Lacey turned as the hostess came toward them. “We’re ready to be seated now.”
She and the other single working girl had seen each other different times at this downtown café, each one dining alone. One day when the two of them arrived at the same time, Lacey asked the other girl if she’d like to share a table. It was a savvy move on her part; the two hit it off well.
She learned that the young woman’s name was Sarina and she worked at an office building down the block from Lacey. They were almost the same age, both came from small towns to find a job in the city. Each of them enjoyed reading historical mysteries, so were soon comparing notes about their favourite authors and suggestion books for the other. When they parted they agreed to meet every Monday for lunch; today was their third time.
They followed their hostess and she seated them at table right next to a large group. Their orders were quickly taken and they had a scintillating conversation about office politics as they waited for their food.
At first the clank of cutlery and murmurs of conversation were all they heard from the next table, but after those dinners were done and their plates were cleared away, they started making witty remarks that made Lacey and Sarina grin. They caught on that it was one fellow’s thirtieth birthday and he proved himself good at repartee as the various remarks were fired at him.
His friends were teasing him about “soon needing a cane, having dentures fitted, buying a toupee” and such. When he noticed Lacey and Sarina chuckling over one comment, he winked at them and told everyone his eyesight hadn’t dimmed yet. He could still appreciate beauty when he saw it.
Someone suggested they’d seen the one beauty before. A few details were exchanged and Lacey was excited to learn that this group of people worked for an insurance company three floors above her office and one of the women rode the same bus to work.
A few minutes later two waiters came with dessert plates and a third followed, carrying a huge piece of cake with a sparkler coruscating on the top. At a signal everyone began to sing “Happy Birthday.” Lacey and Sarina joined in, happy to enjoy a moment of camaraderie with the unknown group.
Before they left, Lacey invited her fellow bus rider to join them for lunch next Monday. Sarina seconded the offer after she noticed a paperback poking out of the other woman’s purse. Another historical mysteries reader.
4 thoughts on “New Words Learned”
Scintillate I could use regularly… coruscate, not so much. Doesn’t have that nice of a ring to it, eh? 😉
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That’s right. It brings to mind corrupt, or corroded. 😦
Funny how words sound certain ways to our ears…
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I’ve read that a person often only sees—and our mind absorbs –the first couple of syllables, that if the last half of the word is spelled wrong, a lot of readers won’t even notice. I think that’s part of it, in this case.