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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:
FORTUITOUS

Unless you are a hard-core determinist, you know that much of what happens in your life occurs by chance. The word you want to use for this phenomenon is fortuitous (pronounced -for-TOO-uh-tuss),  which means happening by chance or accident rather than by design.

It can mean happening by lucky chance, or fortunate, but it is a mistake to think of fortunate as an exact synonym, because we know all too well how many of our accidents and chance events are far from lucky.A nearer synonym is aleatory, from alea, Latin for dice, which means occurring purely by chance. fortuitous carries an overtone of an accident.

The word comes from the Latin fortuitus, ultimately from fors, "chance," "luck." Fortune, which can also be for good or ill, springs from the same root.

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