Wednesday WOrd


I’ve always found this a misleading kind of word, because the -ly ending gives it the appearance of an adverb or adjective, when it is a noun meaning insolence, rudeness, or contempt.

To make it into an adverb or adjective, you cannot add -ly to the existing -ly, otherwise you’d end up with contumelyly, which looks odd and sounds silly.

Contumely’s adjective is contumelious, and it’s adverb is contumeliously.

It has nothing to do with contumacious, which is a different word entirely.

Etymology: Middle English contumelie, from Middle French, from Latin contumelia (Merriam-Webster’s On-line Dictionary)

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Valencia Grand Prix

Mark Webber
Image by ph-stop via Flickr

What a relief to see Mark Webber walk away from that horrifying 190 mph crash. It seems unbelievable that after the car becoming airborne, somersaulting, turning turtle with him beneath it, hurtling into the wall and breaking up, he was able to step out of the wreckage unaided. I really like that super-cool Aussie, who just gets on with the job with quiet determination. I expect he’ll wake up with a few bruises tomorrow, but what a lucky, lucky man he was today.

Fernando Alonso seemed to put all his energy into seething over an error by Lewis Hamilton, really spitting out his dummy and tearing teddy’s eyes out when Hamilton’s penalty drive-through still kept him in second place, while poor Fernando was half way down the field. It’s a shame that such a talented driver – once my hero for his masterful dismissal of Herr Cobbler – can’t let bygones go and get on with his driving. I have a high regard for him as a driver, and despite his sour disposition a certain admiration for the fact that he’s very much his own man who speaks his mind and doesn’t mince his words. But I wish he wouldn’t sulk so much.

A great drive today by Kamui Kobayashi.

As for the unfortunate Mr Cobbler, he poddled around towards the back of the field, popping in and out of the pits to sort out his various problems. What’s happening there? Has his famous luck run out? Why can’t he get as much out of the car – which was expressly redesigned to his requirements – as his younger team mate? As he goes from bad to worse, it’s becoming embarrassing to watch his lopsided smirk as he tries to explain the reasons why he – winner of 7 world championships and 91 F1 races, as he rather sniffily mentioned – is performing so abysmally. Perhaps the kindest thing the team engineers could do would be to engineer a dignified exit for him from F1.

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Fire risk

As from 18th June I acquired the exclusive rights to market Doris Brazil’s ladies’ clothing in France, including the islands of French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte and French Guyana. We are currently in negotiation regarding the rights to the remaining French overseas dominions and Monaco.

As I had anticipated, the current Doris Brazil range is proving a little avant-garde for the local French population, with only two of the blue crimplene dresses/blouses (they can be worn as a dress, or hoiked up and secured with a belt to form a baggy blouse – the ultimate versatile garment) sold so far. Not a single order for a bikini, despite the arrival of the sunshine, but with a brutal easterly wind scything across the country the locals have yet to venture beachside. I am confident that given time to adjust, they will eventually embrace 21st century fashion.

However, it’s an entirely different story amongst the expatriate community who recognise quality and value for money when they see it and know how to lead the way in the fashion stakes, and  I’ve been pleasantly overwhelmed by interest in my new venture. Already orders are arriving in a steady stream from all the British strongholds established within l’Hexagone. Stocks of the bikini are running perilously low, but Doris assures me that more are on order from her source in Belarus. As for the linen trousers – we are already en rupture de stock! For all those who have made Paypal payments, fear not, you will be either reimbursed or offered a credit note against another garment.

Unfortunately the linen trouser-making factory in Tashkent closed down suddenly, without explanation. Doris is arranging a whirlwind trip to find a new facility in the Far East. Marvellous old lady, quite indomitable. So please be patient, we are doing everything we can to get the trousers back in stock.

Now this is a VERY IMPORTANT WARNING to all those discerning ladies (and the four gentlemen) who have bought one of the elegant blue crimplene frock/blouses. Doris has contacted me to say that when wearing the garment it is important not to rub your arms against your sides, as this can lead to the build-up of static electricity which could, in the worst case, cause combustion. So if you must move your arms about, keep them well away from your body.

Proud to have put you at the forefront of fashion. New stock arriving weekly. Our forthcoming autumn range will blow you away.

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Wednesday WOrd


meaning turning in every direction.

From the Latin quāquā versus, i.e. quāquā where-, whithersoever, and versus turned, towards.

Courtesy of Webster’s On-line dictionary

Shove this word into conversations frequently to impress your friends and colleagues. 🙂

Thanks to Adrian for suggesting this unusual word.