Word of the day

Otiose  (adj) serving no useful purpose, producing no result or effect; (rare) indolent, lazy, disinclined to exertion

I came across otiose used in this review of David Crystal’s new book Wordsmiths and Warriors The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain which he co-wrote with his wife Hilary. I always enjoy David Crystal’s books, I have since I first encountered him while studying linguistics at university, but I haven’t read this one yet. He has over 120 titles to his name, okay? I’m still playing catch-up!

And, is it just me or does anyone else see (rare) used in a dictionary entry and take it as a personal challenge? There’s great fun to be had in bringing rare usage back into circulation, let me tell you! Good times!

Anyway, while my brother may argue that the knife and fork I always place on the dinner table may be otiose when we’re having pizza, I feel free now to inform him that, otiose by nature or nurture, he’s still on dish-washing duty!


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