Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Prior to today, there had been a derth of good words (well, maybe just a lull), but I did promise some more nouns.

Yesterday's wotd was abecedarian, and I would sooner use animadversion in casual conversation than this idiotic construct. Abecedarian pretty clearly derives from the first four letters of the alphabet, apparently as coined by the Romans. [Ed. note: what were they drinking? Lead???] Ok, so clearly, it means at least on one level, of or relating to the alphabet, and then things that are arranged alphabetically (although that descriptor of "alphabetic order" seems pretty comprehensive and useful), and then finally, things that are as basic as the alphabet (or one who is just beginning to learn a new subject including the alphabet), and it is only in this last usage that we can really get to anything interesting. Well, there's the obvious that little children are quintessential abecedarians, without any derogatory overtones. They really are just learning everything, including the alphabet. 1Ls are abecedarians to the law, and remain so through the first few years of practice. True, and likely uncontested, but I might still prefer novice or acolyte despite the religious overtones. Most Plaintiff's counsel remain abecedarians as to how to evaluate a case, let alone how to write a motion. Accurate and derogatory rolled into one! And on the adjective side of the word, we have his files were not abecedarian, but chronological. Only because of the reference to chronological do we understand what was really intended by the use of abecedarian. Or after having read a sonnet for the first time, one has only the most abecedarian understanding of its depth or meaning. Yes, but rudimentary is better. Or Now, we get to the possible usage. The daughter of a wealthy merchant, she exclaimed "how abecedarian!" when presented with a ring of paste and plate gold, and carefully put the thing aside. But how many times do we really get to dismiss something as "quaint". Well, I guess only when get the mail. Most Plaintiff's counsel's arguments are so abecedarian as to be utterly laughable. Noun, adjective, it's still a questionable word, and it's usage, pompous. I've got better in my arsenal to use on Plaintiff's counsel than this fodder.

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