May 29, 2007

Rapid Rhetoric: JEJUNE

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Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

jejune (djeh-DJOON) adj.. Lacking in nutritive value; devoid of any significance or interest; Lacking maturity; childish; lacking matter; empty or devoid of substance; insipid.

Jejune comes to us from the Latin jejunus, meaning "hungry," "fasting," "scanty," "meager," or "weak." As indicated above, there are a wide variety of possible uses for "jejune." In general, it is important to know that almost every connotation of jejune is associated with a negative tone, so you can be sure that refering to someone as "jejune" is likely to result in sleeves being rolled up and fisticuffs commencing.

I came across the word jejune in Antony Lentin's Russia in the Eighteenth Century, from Peter the Great to Catherine the Great. He described the launching of Moscow University's twice-weekly journal Moscow News as "a journal vastly more informative than its jejune namesake and forerunner."

2 comments:

kooz said...

See, there are some positive ways to look at Toledo not being a big tourist attraction.

historymike said...

Heh!