WIZARD OF WORDS
Just URBANE|August 2021
Language can act as a loaded weapon when used with lucidity and eloquence, hence Tharoorosaurus should be on every linguaphile’s list
DR SHASHI THAROOR

I HAVE BEEN A BIT BEMUSED BY THE reputation I have acquired in our country for wielding difficult words, especially because most of the time I was not doing so deliberately or for effect. I happened to know the words in the question and thought they were the most apposite for the thought I was seeking to convey. But after my usage of ‘farrago’ spiked a huge surge in searches on the Oxford English Dictionary website, the label stuck. And one enterprising publisher suggested I make a book out of it.

The title—Tharoorosaurus—was coined by Meru Gokhale of Penguin India, who proposed the idea for this book in the rear seat of a taxicab in Jaipur as we were heading to an event of the famed literary festival there. It was her idea of pitching me a book whose title would combine my name with the words ‘tyrannosaurus’ (since so many are terrified of difficult words) and ‘thesaurus’ (since people want to be able to look them up). I laughed it off then, but she persisted. I began to think it might be fun to do after all, and the result is my book.

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