Thursday, March 26, 2009

i-TFTD #194: More Learning from the Dictionary

i-TFTD #194: More Learning from the Dictionary

quidnunc (KWID-nungk)
noun: A nosy or gossipy person. Etymology: From Latin quid nunc (what now), implying someone constantly asking "What's new?"

svengali (sven-GAH-lee)
noun: A person who manipulates and exercises excessive control over another for sinister purposes

bunbury (BUN-buh-ree)
noun: An imaginary person whose name is used as an excuse to some purpose, especially to visit a place
verb intr.: To use the name of a fictitious person as an excuse.


This dictionary-sourced theme has been popular, as seen by the responses received to the past i-TFTDs on this theme (available here and here, also online here and here).

Sad but true: quidnuncs, svengalis and bunburying are not as infrequently observed in the workplace as we would like to believe. Unlike the original fictional character who invented it in Mark Twain’s story, in the modern world, bunburying is a popular tactic when we miss an appointment—excuse for not visiting a place!

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