Welcome to Mrs. M's Word of the Week, a new and (I hope) weekly column in which I highlight a specific word that has lately tickled my fancy.
This week's word is Dilatory.
1. Slow to act.
2. Intended to cause delay.
Synonyms: slow, tardy, unhurried, sluggish, sluggardly, snaillike, lazy
Used in a sentence:
"I have been very dilatory about writing blog posts this year," said Mrs. Micawber.
This post from Mrs. Thomasina Tittlemouse
Why I like this word:
1. It invariably reminds me of Mr. Bennett, a favourite character in Pride and Prejudice:
"...though dilatory in undertaking business, he was quick in its execution." (This could actually apply to me.)
"His family knew him to be, on all common occasions, a most dilatory and negligent correspondent...." (Oh dear. This also applies to me. Perhaps that's why I identify with Mr. B?)2. Consider the alternatives:
Tardy - sounds too much like "nerdy"
Slow - has a rather negative intellectual implication
Sluggish and Snail-like - too slimy-sounding
Lazy - good when applied to a river, bad when applied to a person
Dilatory rolls more pleasantly off the lips, and hints at a sort of languid elegance. Dilatory dresses in cool white linen and sips cocktails on a shady veranda. "I'm not lazy," it says, in a soft, honeyed drawl. "I just have other things on my mind."
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That's all for today, folks (cue sprightly theme music). Tune in next week, when we'll highlight another Word word word word of the the the Week week week week.
(Must speak to the sound man about that echo.)
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Has any word tickled your fancy lately?
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