For the A to Z Challenge, today is brought to you by the letter C. There are a lot of good things that start with the letter C, but I chose a word that's fun for us horror writers; chitinous.
Full disclosure...I don't think I've ever actually used the word in any of my writing. But I am willing to try.
First of all, it's pronounced basically like kite-ah-nuss, with an emphasis on kite. I always assumed it had the chi sound, as in chili. My wife will tell you I do that a lot; I read a lot, so there are some words that I think I know, but once I say them out loud, I get funny looks. Like the word scythe. I always assumed it was pronounced like sith, as in Sith Lord.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, chitinous derives from the word chitin, which is:
"A tough, semitransparent substance that is the main component of the exoskeletons of
arthropods, such as the shells of crustaceans and the outer coverings of insects."
So basically crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside.
Chitinous makes me think of Lovecraft it brings to mind skittery, creepy-crawly things - things that might crawl up your nose or in your ear while you sleep. Things like this:
For bonus points, next time you're talking to someone, use the word chitinous in a sentence.
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