Word of the Day

captious \KAP-shuss\ adjective
1 : marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections
2 : calculated to confuse, entrap, or entangle in argument

This submission arrived in timely fashion. Recent confused examples that spring to mind? (I can’t believe I’m waxing nostalgic about those incessant ‘Aruba’ stories…)
UPDATE: The final shot on Sunday’s NBC evening news of said captious newsmaker had her holding a white cross with ‘Casey’ scrawled on it. She was bobbing it up and down like a campaign sign, waving it at the throng passing by, a huge smile plastered on her face the whole time. There is something desperately, desperately wrong with her. Macabre*.
UPDATE REDUX: Although I don’t recommend anyone look for it, as NBC seems to have sanitized the end of Kelly O’Donnell’s report from last night. If anyone out there had the same horrified “WTF is she doing?!” reaction that Major Dad and I shared, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
I FOUND IT: A still at any rate. The TV cameras have started rolling, as you can tell. The cross in her hand has her son’s name on it.

If you suspect that “captious” is a relative of “capture” and “captivate,” you’re right. All of those words are related to the Latin verb “capere,” which means “to take.” “Captious” actually comes from “captio,” a Latin offspring of “capere,” which literally means “a taking” but which was also used to mean “a deception” or “a sophistic argument.” Arguments labeled “captious” are likely to capture you in a figurative sense; they often entrap through subtly deceptive reasoning or trifling points. A captious individual is one who you might also dub “hypercritical,” the sort of carping, censorious critic only too ready to point out minor faults or raise objections on trivial grounds.

*From my friends at Merriam Webster ~ all of the below synonyms apply.

Synonyms appalling, atrocious, awful, dreadful, frightful, ghastly, grisly, gruesome, hideous, horrendous, horrid, horrifying, lurid, macabre, monstrous, nightmarish, shocking, terrible
Related Words bloodcurdling, dire, direful, fearful, fearsome, forbidding, formidable, frightening, hair-raising, terrifying; abhorrent, deplorable, disagreeable, disgusting, distasteful, loathsome, nauseating, obnoxious, offensive, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, sickening; abominable, evil, foul, heinous, noxious, odious, unspeakable, vile

4 Responses to “Word of the Day”

  1. The Real JeffS says:

    “Vile”. I like that one.

  2. Nightfly says:

    Holy manatee from Kankakee – is that a “Jesus Wept” sign in the background? Oy.

  3. The Real JeffS says:

    Jesus wept indeed, when he saw this collection of losers.

  4. Smile for the camera! And a good time was had by all.
    ‘Deranged’ seems to be missing from the list…

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