Without running to the dictionary, I'm not exactly sure what these two words mean. Bifurcated, I think, has something to do with cutting. Solipsism (again, hedging) is a quality that's negative, but I don't know how.
These two words popped into my head as I thought about the work that words do. Some words are so work-a-day that they slip by you easily, almost silently, delivering their meaning and passing by quickly, so you don't even notice. That last sentence had a ton of those words. Bifurcated and solipsism are 'handle with care' words, words with a lot of stopping power. They're the heavy metals of the periodic word table.
I bring this up because of something that happened during our Bucks County Writers Group's last meeting. Greg has a great story he's working on that is full of playful words. They dance, they stick out their tongues at us and they make rude jokes. Usually, it's delightful and fun. But one word stuck out in his latest submission. Singulated. In my word doc, it's got a red squiggly line under it, telling me it's a misspelling. Greg assures me that it's not. It's a technical term for how specific machine parts are manufactured. Without knowing that, I kind of got the gist of the word, from the context of his story. But it made me stop. In the middle of an action scene, I stopped to think about pulling out my dictionary. That's not what should happen. Greg is (for now) standing by singulated. I have the feeling that he'll kill that particular darling in coming revisions.
What words make you stop? Are heavy-metal words worth the risk?
sol·ip·sism[sol-ip-siz-uhm] Show IPA
Philosophy . the theory that only the self exists, or can beproved to exist.
extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one'sfeelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.