# Sunday, 25 September 2011

Are you a lover of fine words? If so, read on my sesquipedalian friend!

A pointless, but amusing program for those who like long words

Those who know me are used to the fact that i find it hard to use one word when ten will do, or a short one when a long one is perfectly sufficient. I blame my mother who gave me all manner of fine books to read when I was a boy!

Anyway, I have long enjoyed peppering my speech, and indeed e-mails and blog posts, with unnecessarily long and obscure words. This amuses me, and confuses others! Being a programmer by profession, and a tinkerer by nature, I decided some time ago to write myself a small application for my computer, which could pop up with ease and help me insert lovely words into whatever I was typing. This gave me great (if childish) satisfaction.

Perhaps I’m foolish for doing this, but I decided to release this little program to the unsuspecting world. If you would like to spice up your e-mails, you can download it from here (Note that this works on Windows only). It consists of two files, the program itself, and a file that contains the words. Put these two files somewhere safe, for example in a folder called “Loquacious” in your “My Documents” folder.

When you are typing, and you want a nice word, call up the program and choose one from the list. When it is selected, click the Enter key and the window will close. If your e-mail (or whatever) was the last window open, then the word will automatically be pasted in. If not, go back to your e-mail and click Ctrl-v (or choose Paste from the Edit menu if you prefer).

The main Loquacious window

Note that as I am a keyboard fan, and use the mouse as little as possible, I wrote this program to be keyboard friendly. This means that it doesn’t really use the mouse, and if you try double-clicking a word, nothing will happen. I know this is easy to do, I just never got around to it!

A quick way to start the program

If you are using Vista or Windows 7, you can make this even easier. When the program is running, look for the icon on the taskbar, it looks like a yellow submarine…

My taskbar, showing the Loquacious icon fifth from the left

Right-click on the yellow submarine, and from the little menu that pops up, choose “Pin this program to taskbar” (I know, they missed out the word “the” in that sentence. Don’t blame me, I didn’t write Windows!).

The pop-up window that allows you to pin programs to the taskbar

This will leave the Loquacious icon on the taskbar, even after you close it. Now, when you want to start Loquacious, you can click the little yellow submarine on your taskbar and it will start. Much quicker eh? But wait, it gets better…

An even quicker way to use it!

Now, here’s a little–known, but jolly clever trick for Vista and Windows 7 users (no, it doesn’t work in XP, I tried it!). If you hold down the Windows key on your keyboard, and press the number 1 on the numbers across the keyboard, it will open up which ever program is the first one pinned to the taskbar. in my case, that would be the program with the red icon with the two plus signs you can see above. If you choose Windows+2, you get the second icon (mine would be the purple and white “N”0 and so on. This is a great way to open your favourite programs quickly.

Now, if you drag the Loquacious icon towards the left end of the taskbar, so that it is one of the first nine icons (ignore the Start button, that doesn’t count), then you will be able to open it by clicking Windows+5 (in my case, your number will depend where you put the little yellow submarine).

The benefit of all this is that inserting words becomes very quick when you are typing. For example…

  1. Whilst typing an e-mail, you want to insert a nice word, so you click Windows+5. Up pops Loquacious.
  2. You use the arrows keys to move up and down, or type a letter to jump to the first word that starts with that letter. Do this until you find the word you want.
  3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard. Loquacious closes, and inserts the chosen word in your e-mail.

Can’t get much easier than that eh! If you decide not to insert a word, press the Esc key (usually in the top left corner of your keyboard) to close Loquacious without inserting.

Adding and deleting words

To add a new word, just open Loquacious and press Ctrl-a. This will pop up a small window where you can add a new word and its meaning. To delete a word, choose it in the main list and click either the Del key or the BackSpace key (often just has a left-pointing arrow).

I hope this program amuses you. If so, please leave a comment and tell me (politely) what you thought of it. Just click the “Comments” link below.

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