Lexicographical Fame: Derb Makes Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Day"–Until Deleted!
Print Friendly and PDF

A mighty host of readers has emailed in to tell me that I am featured in Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Day" this morning.

The kultprop over at M-W must have been on coffee break. Just in case xe has since returned and ordered my name expunged, I took a screen shot. [Archive link] Update: Expunged!

Today's word is "adscititious." 

"I left the warm embrace of government work for adscititious reasons, driven not by boredom or indignation, but mainly by itchy feet." — John Derbyshire, The National Review, 17 July 2002

I learned it from my great literary hero Samuel Johnson.  In one of his essays Johnson used the words "adscititious" and "equiponderant" both in the same sentence

If we therefore compare the value of the praise obtained by ficitious excellence, even while the cheat is yet undiscovered, with that kindness which every man may suit by his virtue, and that esteem to which most men may rise by common understanding steadily and honestly applied, we shall find that when from the adscititious happiness all the deductions are made by fear and casualty, there will remain nothing equiponderant to the security of truth. (Rambler, May 26th 1750.)


Print Friendly and PDF