Today’s quiz: Fox can mean: a. Attack b. Propose c. Defeat d. Baffle

Hi! Let’s get started on our word adventure!

Have you ever been misled by someone? A pervicacious person may not lie, they just avoid telling the truth. They tergiversate. They waffle. They wrong-foot you. They may do it with a lot of hand waving — that’s not physical hand movement — just spouting folderol to delay action. They may temporize you, that is, give you breadcrumbs hoping to forestall you. You may want to defenestrate this persona non grata.

Here’s something I heard someone say. “I bended the wheel out of shape.” The word bent should have been used here. Bended is an archaism. The speaker probably got confused by the evergreen idiom ‘on bended knee.’ Idioms are of course exempt from the rules of grammar.

There is no reason to use redundancies. It quashes your credibility because you don’t sound very smart. When you say things like 3:00 A.M. in the morning, or ‘and hence,’ or he went to a bar he often frequented, or…the soldiers failed to take the fort successfully (really? you mean there’s an unsuccessful way to take a fort?) no one will take you seriously in the future.

A tautology is a redundancy of a different stripe. It’s when when two differently worded sentences express essentially the same concept. But a tautology in the field of philosophy is an axiom.

Some words come to us from the gods of mythology. Proteus had the ability to adapt his physical form to whatever was needed at the time. Thusly, protean is used to describe someone who’s versatile.

Vellichor is the scented, wistful, temporality of used bookstores.

A tabula rasa is a blank slate. Something in its primal condition . Or clean start.

Soto voce means in a low voice. We spoke to the governor soto voce.

Salubrious means healthful.

Quiz answer: d. Baffle



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