I'm not sure, dear reader (I never am), but the following may be the most beautiful paragraph to which the English language has ever given birth, or ever will.
Tread softly and circumspectly in this funambulatory Track and narrow Path of Goodness: Pursue Virtue virtuously: Leven not good Actions nor render Virtues disputable. Stain not fair Acts with foul Intentions: Maim not Uprightness by halting Concomitances, nor circumstantially deprave substantial Goodness.
- Thomas Browne, Christian Morals
And when I formed that opinion I didn't even know what funambulatory meant. I didn't care either. Sense can often mar the wonder of a word and meaning murders beauty. It turns out that funambulatory means "like a tightrope walker". So you, ambitious reader, can use it yourself in phrases such as "That finance meeting was a bitch: trying to play off the CEO and the CFO and that guy from HR... I tell you, my morning's been bloody funambulatory. Fancy a pint?"
But you will never write a sentence as sweet as Browne's.
I still haven't worked out what concomitances are.
The Horologicon is a book of the strangest and most beautiful words in the English language arranged by the hour of the day when you will really need them. Words for breakfast, for commuting, for working, for dining, for drinking and for getting lost on the way home. It runs from uhtceare (sadness before dawn) to curtain lecture (a telling off given by your spouse in bed). It's out on November the first, but you can already order it from these lovely people: