May 14, 2008

Rapid Rhetoric: LAPPACEOUS

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.

lappaceous (lah-PAY-shoos) adj. bur-like or prickly; covered with forked points.

The English word lappaceous is an almost direct appropriation of the Latin form lappaceus. Typically used to describe botanical features, lappaceous is an apt word to described the pesky capitula of members of the burdock family.

However, I propose an expansion of the term, as I have known a number of people over the years for whom "lappaceous" would be an appropriate adjective. Here, then, is a suggested usage of the word in a corporate setting:

Martin, a fiery regional vice-president who was unusually quick to terminate his subordinates, was a lappaceous sort of boss whose arrogance stuck to his staff like burdock on a peasant's trousers.

Something like that.

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