edulcoration

Drawing out this word in oration is a sure sign of edumacation. It’s a true verbal decoration, not some dull coloration. It’s hardcore and may elude your readers, so ration it like sweets. Use it sparingly like sugar.

Which also, I suppose, means go nuts with it for a short time each year. Well, if there’s an edulcoration time, it’s…

Hallowe’en, frankly, with all that candy, but if you want to draw it out longer, make it Advent and Christmas. Or, if you prefer, use it quickly at Purim or for longer at Hanukkah. Or you could always go with Diwali, I guess…

Edulcorating your diet is fun, but you can also edulcorate your words. Sweeten them, is what I mean. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, right? Edulcorate comes from e ‘out’ (as in e pluribus unum) and dulcor ‘sweetness’, and originally it meant to bring sweetness out – not to draw it out and remove it, but to bring it to the surface for tasting, just as educate comes from Latin for ‘draw out’. Edulcorate can also mean ‘remove harsh impurities’. Both of these relate nicely to making your words pleasant to eat, always a wise consideration given that you may be the one eating them.

Interestingly, vinegar can be used to edulcorate other things. This is convenient, because it turns out that flies actually love vinegar. But vinegar is not sweet or smooth. Not even pure vinegar. On the other hand, you can sweeten vinegar with sugar and get sweet and sour, which is pretty nice. (Even salt-and-vinegar potato chips have some sweetness added, often using lactose.)

Edulcorate, then, your words, and your times, and your relations… and your palate. Take the festive season and sweeten it to pure pleasantry (perhaps with the aid of a little fun tartness). But go easy; under some influences, edulcoration can get mixed up into a loud reaction that could cloud or curdle your recreation.

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