Readers’ reactions to the use of limn in a headline showed that a fair number of people welcome the opportunity to enlarge their working vocabularies. The reactions of people who found limn irritating suggested that headlines on the front page might not be the ideal place to attempt that.
So, with my editors’ blessing, I am introducing a weekly feature, “In a Word,” on baltimoresun.com, that will present a word that my not be familiar to you, supplying definition, pronunciation, and etymology. This week’s is gnomic. You will also have an opportunity to use the word in a sentence in the comments section on the feature, and I will applaud the best one in the following week’s post. Have at it.
Add something; take something away. Here’s a free offer of a cliche you are welcome to purge from your writing: in the wake of. If you mean since something happened, or because something happened, just say so without resorting to this long-dead nautical metaphor. Now go about your business.