xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

In a word: Quixotic

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

QUIXOTIC

Advertisement

We owe this eponymous adjective to Cervantes, whose 17th-century satirical novel about Don Quixote's naive attempts to live out the values and behaviors of chivalry in our post-chivalric world gave a name to apply to all we consider idealistic, impractical and unrealistic.

Though the character's name is pronounced, as in Spanish, as "kee-HO-tee," the English adjective is pronounced as "kwix-OT-ick." The English, as George Orwell pointed out, thought it effeminate to pronounce a foreign word correctly.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Example

: Since Sept. 27, 2010,

has persisted in his quixotic campaign to enlarge vocabularies

at baltimoresun.com, offering to date gnomic, lachrymose, louche, chthonic, nonage, rebarbative, irenic, borborygmus, milquetoast, quidnunc, demirep, eleemosynary, otiose, rodomontade, haruspicy, eructate, lapidary, exiguous, euhemeristic, panegyric, philtrum, maladroit, bastinado, sagacity, prescient, satrap, halcyon, egregious, jacquerie, pawky, desuetude, consanguinity, scapegrace, gracile, gravamen, mephitic, tendentious, boustrophedon, evaginate, recondite, flaneur, adumbrate, penumbra, craquelure, gonfalon, amour-propre, tergiversation, hegemony and obdurate.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement