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:
When you feel unfocused or find yourself proceeding haphazardly, the word to reach for to describe yourself is
(pronounced DES-ul-tor-ee). We get it in English from the Latin
, or "leaping," from
, " to vault, "to jump down." This sense of jumping from one thing to another gives us the English sense of lacking a plan, or purpose, or enthusiasm; being unfocused; or occurring randomly or occasionally. The weekly series you're reading now is a desultory rambling through the English vocabulary.
William Cowper: "The earth was made so various, that the mind of desultory man, studious of change, and pleased with novelty, might be indulged."