I'm not a great wordsmith, I have never been someone to throw around obscure words in order to impress. It is not something that impresses me, and I've always imagined that others would feel the same.
However some quite ordinary words have managed to pass me by. Even with my extensive education, certain words that should have been part of my everyday vocabulary have simply managed to escape.
I remember well when I first saw the word 'ampersand' written somewhere, I could hardly believe that I'd got to adulthood without ever having either seen or heard it somewhere or other. It seemed a word that I should have known; and would have been pleased to know.
I've now found another. It may not be a word for daily use, but there it was on the front page of this weekend's Sunday Times, and it stood out like a sore thumb. Talking of Football (well they had to didn't they) someone mentioned waving a flag aloft 'like a holy gonfalon'.
Now, I don't know if you know what a 'gonfalon' is; but I didn't, so let me tell you. It seems that it's a type of flag or banner held from a crossbar; not unlike those Trades union banners one sees on marches, with streamers or tails.
I don't suppose it's a word that I shall be employing too often, apart from anything I don't like the sound of it. But at least if someone sidles up to me and asks "Would you like to see my gonfalon?", I won't have to slap his/her face. A simple 'no thank you' will suffice.