Someone Having a Bad Day at

Being a notoriously incorrigible word geek, one RSS feed I check every day is’s Word of the Day. (Here’s the feed.)

….But this week, I’m a little concerned. I’m wondering whether the editor of this fine service is having a really bad week.

Here’s what I mean: Today (Sunday), the word of the day is execrable: 1. Deserving to be excreted; detestable; abominable. 2. Extremely bad; of very poor quality; very inferior.

Hmmmm… Looking back over the past week, other potential cries for help appear…

  • Yesterday (Saturday), the daily word was dilettante: An amateur or dabbler; especially, one who follows an art or a branch of knowledge sporadically, superficially, or for amusement only.

  • On Friday, it was bedaub. I know, that doesn’t sound especially dark or troublesome – until you read the definition offered: 1. To smudge over; to besmear or soil with anything thick and dirty. 2. To overdecorate; to ornament showily or excessively.

  • On Thursday, it was acquiesce: To accept or consent passively or without objection. …Not exactly hopeful, eh?

  • Wednesday’s word, rotund, sounds a bit more benign: 1. Round; circular; spherical. 2. Rounded in figure; plump; chubby. 3. Full and rich in sound; sonorous. Of course, it’s all a matter of context, if our erstwhile lexicographer is depressed about being overweight, or annoyed with an obese person.

  • Tuesday’s selection was cerebration – again, superficially benign: The act or product of thinking; the use of the power of reason; mental activity; thought. Still… what if it also carries the deeper and darker implication of obsession, here?

  • And Monday’s choice, profligate: 1. Openly and shamelessly immoral; dissipated; dissolute. 2. Recklessly wasteful. Definitely trouble brewing.

  • UPDATE MONDAY OCT 20: The negativity continues! Today’s word is nebbish: A weak-willed, timid, or ineffectual person.

…Okay, I’m not saying that a negative word here and there is cause for alarm… However, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a despairing, angry lexicographer stalking the halls at the Lexico Publishing Group, drinking too much coffee and muttering uncharitable thoughts about being jilted by a tasteless, wasteful, overweight interior decorator.

So I’m just a little concerned. I’ll keep watch on the word-choice situation. But if any CONTENTIOUS readers know someone over at Lexico, ask around discreetly, would you? Thanks.