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Thread: Mercurial: tell me what it means

  1. #41
    I know, You know, Space Invaders Champion, Asteroids Champion, GalaGalaGa Champion, Add It Up Champion, Titans Champion, Little Protectors Champion
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Re: Mercurial: tell me what it means

    Overall, I do find I limit my own use of rare or seldom used words in conversation... especially when I'm arguing an idea. I think this stems from the awful discussions we had in English classes in university where too often fellow students spent time trying to impress others with their extensive vocabularies. There were times that the discussions became so convulted I felt most of the class wasn't even sure what the were arguing anymore.

    So, I guess I appreciate a couple of words in a conversation that are unique or rare, but if what a person is saying gets lost in all those long words, well, they are missing the point of conversation. I can really appreciate a person who is able to say something succinctly and clearly... it's what you say that matters and impresses, not how you say it.

    All of that said, how in the heck did Kat go through 20 years of life and never hear of the appendix, or appendicitus? Something about that rings false to me. I know that by that age I had heard of it numerous times.
    Lil Bit likes this.

  2. #42
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    In the trees

    Re: Mercurial: tell me what it means

    I just questioned the three people in my kitchen, one a teacher, one a truck driver, and one a retired orderly, whether mercurial was a five dollar word or rather more quotidian (now there's a five dollar word for you). Each of them, as do I, consider the word to be quotidian.
    And so it begins, the end of times..

  3. #43
    FORT Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: Mercurial: tell me what it means

    [Late to the thread, but I re-watched Season 24 recently. Yes, I am insane.]

    I think his use of mercurial is borderline. The vast majority of the time, when you use mercurial, you're referring to a person, not to a situation. eg, someone has a "mercurial temper." Perhaps if, in the situation itself, there were possibilities of anger or violence, but that's not what he intended. There were better, more apt words he could've used to describe a "chaotic" situation.

    These words are not natural to him. Every time he's going to use one there's a micro-second pause, he smiles, and gifts us with his new etymological discovery. It's like he had a word-a-day vocabulary-builder calendar. Plus, he always pedantically gives the definition 10 seconds later: if he knows he's going to not be understood, he could just short-cut to the "dumb version."

    My favorite was when he uttered "sycophantic"-- which he mispronounced as if he were saying "psycho-phantic."

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