Brenton Dickieson (whose name my autocorrect fights with all its strength) made his way through John Calvin’s Institution of Christian Religion. A formidable accomplishment (944 pages!), but such are the labors of the theologian. It’s the best way to teach them perseverance and humility, since they never have to collimate optics in the laboratory.
At one point, Brent vouchsafed that next time through, he will read a modern translation that is free from “all those obscure -ate verbs we lost long ago in verb form (like arrogate, abominate, irradiate, obviate, vitiate, actuate, inculcate, supplicate, promulgate, propitiate, intimate, abrogate, expiate, execrate, extenuate, expostulate, derogate, vacillate, and, of course, predestinate).”
These verbs are far from lost! Nuclear physicists irradiate many things. (Only doing it unintentionally is frowned upon.) In engineering documents I have frequently used “actuate”, “abrogate”, “inculcate”, “extenuate”, and “promulgate” and none of my reviewers has raised an eyebrow. To abominate, execrate, or derogate things is frowned upon (deprecated?) in the modern, hyper-polite workplace, so I always have to change those.
My status as a liberal artisan is known and indulged so I can use “obviate” and “vitiate” with only a remark en passant from the editor about not using too many “Joe-words”. “Vacillate” is the mot juste for dealing with recalcitrant bureaucrats. And of course I challenge anyone to spend an hour among engineers without observing any behavior for which “arrogate” is the only possible verb.
All told, of Brent’s 19 lost verbs, I use 12 regularly and get away with 9. I hope that this effort to enumerate them may mitigate his dismay, in part.