Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Word of the Day

facetious\fuh-SEE-shuss\adj. 1: joking or jesting often inappropriately: waggish 2: meant to be humorous or funny: not serious

Example Sentence: Gwen was being facetious when she used the word "classy" to describe Bill's brightly colored necktie. (I swear that's the example they gave in the dictionary!)

Did you know? "Facetious" came to English from the Middle French word "facetieux," which traces to the Latin word "facetia," meaning "jest." "Facetia" seems to have made only one other lasting contribution to the English language: "facetiae," meaning "witty or humorous writings or sayings." "Facetiae," which comes from the plural of "facetia" and is pronounced fuh-SEE-shee-ee or fuh-SEE-shee-eye, is a far less common word than "facetious," but it does show up occasionally. For example, in a letter to the editor published in the Seattle Times, August 26, 1995, a reader used the following words to describe a column written by the humorist Dave Barry: "Hey, it's a HUMOR column, based entirely upon facetiae."

My use: Please don't be facetious.

It seems like facetious words are generally accompanied by an eye-roll.

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