Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Word of the Week: Inexorable

My, how the days do fly. Here we are again with yet another (kettle drum goes BOM-bom-BOM-bom-BOM-bom-BOM-bom-BOMMMMM)...

This week's word is Inexorable.

in·ex·o·ra·ble (inˈeksərəbəl)
1. Impossible to stop or prevent.
2. (of a person) Impossible to persuade by request or entreaty.
synonyms: relentless, unstoppable, inescapable, inevitable, unavoidable, irrevocable, unalterable; persistent, continuous, nonstop, steady, interminable, incessant, unceasing, unremitting, unrelenting

Used in a sentence:

"In the howl of the wind, in the bitterness of the air, I sense the inexorable approach of Winter," said Mrs. M as she put the flannel sheets on the bed.

(No, I don't really talk like that. Or not usually.)

Most recently seen or heard in:

"The Horse and His Boy" by C.S. Lewis

Why I like this word:

Sternly grand and rather mysterious, it rolls around the mouth like organ chords in some vast cathedral. Inexorable is an austere and dignified word - I can feel my back straightening when I say it.

If Inexorable were a person, how would he look? Definitely male, for starters: pale and upright, narrow of jaw, with steely grey eyes and a firm mouth. He may be wearing a toga and laurel wreath; whatever he wears is worn with dignity.

Once he decides on a course of action, nothing can dissuade him; his greatest fault is the lack of a sense of humour. Because of this, Inexorable gets dragged into many a dry and depressing sentence (Google "inexorable quotes" and you'll see what I mean). It takes the lighter touch of a genius like P.G. Wodehouse to give Inexorable his proper due:
It would seem to be an inexorable law of Nature that no man shall shine at both ends. If he has a high forehead and a thirst for wisdom, his fox-trotting (if any) shall be as the staggerings of the drunken; while, if he is a good dancer, he is nearly always petrified from the ears upward. --The Man With Two Left Feet
I can't find anything funny to say about Inexorable - in fact he's rather difficult to be around, and very hard to work into conversation - but I like him nonetheless. He ranks right up there with Immortal, Invisible, Invincible, and Unalterable for sheer syllabic splendour. Like them, he should be used but sparely, lest he (and the speaker) descend into the realm of bombast.


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Are there any words you like that you find hard to work into conversation? Do tell.

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  1. Another gem Sue, I'm still enjoying soporific and dilatory and now a newbie to add to the list.
    In conversation with an acquaintance at the supermarket on the weekend she trotted out capricious, in relation to the Spring weather. I was very impressed with it and smiled to myself thinking maybe she had been inspired by your 'Word of the Week' posts.......but she admitted to watching Eggheads, TV show.....:)

  2. I love these entries of yours.
    I believe that my mother's Auntie May would have been the epitome of An Inexorable Force Times Ten.
    I never knew her, but the stories of her power and influence scare the daylights out of me. "She who must be obeyed"...whew!
    I have such a fascination with words that refuse to roll off of my tongue...even as an adult. Meteorologist, anthropomorphism...which I can barely spell, and when young, linoleum.
    Words are fascinating and a tangled tongue is all together another story.

  3. I can see Inexorable and his cronies sitting in deep chairs in a British mens club in the centuries before the 20th.

  4. Petrified from the ears upward... Oh, how I love that!!! I bet I can use it in a sentence or two!!!

    I, too, look forward to your Word of the Week (and all your posts), because I always know your keen wit will always pick me up!

  5. Love it Sue, but I have to say I will need to practise a bit with this one before I can casually throw it into conversation. :)

  6. I'm new to your blog, and wanted to say I love the idea of a "word of the week." I feel an inexorable pull to this kind of post. :-)

  7. I was rereading Harry Potter series recently on my kindle and I have found some previously introduced words of the week there. I didn't have to use the built-in dictionary to understand them :) Word Of The Week improved my English!!

  8. What a great word and fun post. I love the quote by Wodehouse! :)

  9. I love the word inexorable! "No time here to sense the inexorable approach of winter!" We went from a gorgeous Indian summer to winter overnight. I put my flannel sheets on in a cold snap several weeks ago, and we've been kicking the bedclothes off at night! I do, however, feel the inexorable weight of my "To Do" list as the holidays get closer! So that's why I can't dance ~ LOL! Take care!

  10. Oh I love this word. There are so many wonderful words out there, how sad that much of the time people always use the same ones. Makes me incandescent in fact. I always like to say discombobulated whenever I can. Which is quite often as I'm often discombobulated. Love the PG Wodehouse quote, he always makes me smile. I'm really liking your blog, I think I shall follow along if I may.

  11. I'm really enjoying this weekly post Sue. And i am learning a lot from it too. I never knew exactly how to pronounce that word. Thanks for teaching me.


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