Friday, March 23, 2007


Animadversion (DD definition link)

You have got to be kidding me! This is DD's wotd? It looks like a word which would describe either people who hate animals or Japanese cartoons. It just begs to be a malapropism. And how "mind turning toward" becomes an "unfavorable or censurious comment", I don't even care. What's wrong with just censure or criticism or rebuke or condemnation, or any of the other hate "synonyms" in another form? (Loathe, despise, abhor, etc.) It begs to be used: When the little girl said, "vanilla stinks," I pithily replied, "Such animadversion from one so young!" Of course, neither the little girl, nor her mother, nor the counter attendant, nor any of the other patrons in the ice cream parlor would have understood what I said, and the witty retort would have been lost to the ether. Better to have asked her "why do you think vanilla stinks" and then argue on the merits rather than on some meta-level about her voicing her opinion. I can't even fathom using this word, except as utter sarcasm. The journalist's animadversion to the recent opera workshop performance was summed up in the statement, "the people who left at intermission had the right idea". My animadversion to DD's insipid wotd's that are utterly unusable even in pretentious conversation cannot be expressed sanely in this forum. I'll work on it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While appreciating your wonderful blog and wishing it continued, I take some exception to your response to
'animadversion'. True, it's used so little today that its
Latinate splendor would come across as pretentious.
But it has its uses, I'd argue, as a name for what we feel when, for whatever reason, we resist or turn aside from something. There's a nice Anglicism, "to take against" something; to the extent that there are synonyms (you make an interesting point about there being no real synonyms), 'animadversion' seems to me to capture the experience of 'taking against' and to be useful in that way.