Friday, June 12, 2009

Word of the Week: Festoon

I was talking to Momz yesterday, and during the course of our conversation, I was able to use one of my favorite all-time words:


I don't know about you, but I don't festoon things enough. I should be downstairs right now, festooning something. Sure, my kids won't know I've been festooning, but I... I bet they'll know something special has happened.

The problem with "festoon" is it brings to mind cobwebs, as in the following sentence:

"The sad lady sat among the ruins of her long-past debutante ball, the once-jaunty decorations now festooned with cobwebs."

So can one deliberately festoon? According to Miriam Webster dictionary, here is the definition:

1 : a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points2 : a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing a decorative chain

Of course, both of those definitions are nouns, so that brings a whole new spin to the word. I cannot festoon, alas, because it is a noun. Though I know it is possible to make some nouns into verbs in the past tense (hence the "festooned" in the above sentence), present tense is just kind of weird.

However, I can BEDECK my wall with a FESTOON! Then my wall shall be FESTOONED with a FESTIVE ADORNMENT! I should stop now, before I cause a kerfuffle.

Ah. I should have been an English teacher.


The Domestic Flunky said...

Become an ELAR teacher?!? There's still time! I think you have every right--as Shakespeare did on so many occasions--to turn a noun into a verb. Festoon away!

Barbaloot said...

I think you can turn festoon into a verb. Like maybe---you festooned something? May not be correct---but it sounds fun:)

Kristina P. said...

I don't think I've ever used the word Festoon, and that makes me sad.

Joanna said...

There is appropriate festooning and inappropriate festooning. One festoons appropriately with cobwebs or crepe paper. If you festoon with anything else, you have not only turned a noun into a verb, you have violated one of the rules of common decency!