What's in a Word | All Blogs


A winsome word for ‘lazy’

By Debra Dobbins

My English-teacher heart skipped a beat this morning as I read on page D1 Rachel Sauer's delightful advice on Respecting the Language. In my humble opinion, she showed quite exquisite editorial taste by putting caps on those two words.  As I've noted before, working with others who truly care about words is my chief pleasure here.

Sauer's feature even merited some space in the Sentinel's “skybox” — the words and graphics that appear at the very top of page one. The words above, including “lackadaisical,” were copied from that spot.

In modern usage “lackadaisical” has taken on the meanings of “lazy” or “indifferent.” Webster's notes that it can also mean “listless” or “languid.”

On hot summer days and nights I often veg out on my back porch or at outdoor concerts. If that means I am lackadaisical, then so be it. I just view such sloth as being indifferent to chores that can, indeed must, wait for another day, preferably one that's cold and rainy.

This five-syllable word appears to have evolved from a two-syllable word: alack. That was an interjection to express regret, and its first-known use was in the 15th century, according to merriam-webster.com.

Later the word expanded to “alackaday” and then to “lackadaisy.” From that noun form came the adjective “lackadaisical.”

Illustration special to the Sentinel

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Lettuce reconsider
By Penny Stine
Friday, May 22, 2015

Freshman year is one for the books
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, May 21, 2015

The List: Keeping kids busy this summer
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, May 21, 2015

I escaped Target for less than $100!
By Julie Norman
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What not to do when planting asparagus
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, May 20, 2015


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2015 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy