Lexicon Big Year: July 25

July 25: Ipsedixitism. Huh, what you saying? Well, this, according to Steven, is how you describe someone “who appeals to an idea he thinks is obvious and needs no further explanation.” This can be a tactic to avoid drawing attention to any real criticism of the idea. A word two-hundred-plus years old, let’s acknowledge ipsedixitism.

Jogging this morning, for who knows what reason, a word sprang to mind. I muttered, “persispacious,” “persospicious,” maybe “perococial,” a word having something to do with luck and foresight. It took another twenty minutes on the road for the right word to slip into my addled brain. The word is perspicacious, and it means “having a ready insight into and understanding of things” or “of acute mental vision or discernment.” So not only could I not pronounce it, I had no idea what perspicacious means.

Source: A Word for Every Day of the Year by Steven Poole.

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