“The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.”
Robert A. Heinlein
Friday, April 24, 2009
word a day#14
asinine |ˈasəˌnīn|adjectiveextremely stupid or foolish : Lydiaignored his asinineremark. See note at stupid.DERIVATIVESasininity |ˌasəˈninitē| |ˈøsəˈnɪnədi| |-ˈnɪnɪti| nounORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Latin asininus, from asinus ‘ass.’ Bonus word:
stupid |ˈst(y)oōpid|adjective ( -pider, -pidest)lacking intelligence or common sense : I was stupid enough to think she was perfect.• dazed and unable to think clearly : apprehension wasnumbing her brain and making her stupid.• informal used to express exasperation or boredom: she told him to stop messing with his stupid painting.noun informala stupid person (often used as a term of address) : you're not a coward, stupid!DERIVATIVESstupidity |st(y)oōˈpiditē| |st(j)uˈpɪdədi| |-ˈpɪdɪti|nounstupidly |ˈst(j)upədli| adverbORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French stupide or Latin stupidus, from stupere ‘be amazed or stunned.’THE RIGHT WORDIf you want to impugn someone's intelligence, the options are almost limitless.You can call the person stupid, a term that implies a sluggish, slow-witted lack of intelligence.Asinine is a harsher word, implying asslike orfoolishbehavior rather thanslow-wittedness (: a woman her age looked asinine in aminiskirt).Calling someone dumb is risky, because it is not only an informal word (: you dumbbunny!), but because it also means mute and is associated with the offensive expression “deaf and dumb,” used to describe people who cannot hear or speak.Dense implies an inability to understand even simple facts or instructions (: too dense to get the joke), while dull suggests a sluggishness of mind unrelieved by any hint of quickness, brightness, or liveliness (: a dull stare).Slow also implies a lack of quickness in comprehension or reaction and is often used as a euphemistic substitute for stupid (: he was a little slow intellectually).Obtuse is a more formal word for slow-wittedness, but with a strong undercurrent of scorn (: it almost seemed as though he were being deliberately obtuse).You can't go wrong with a word like unintelligent, which is probably the most objective term for low mental ability and the least likely to provoke an angry response (: unintelligent answers to the teacher's questions). All great words to describe my day yesterday.