What's in a Word | All Blogs


Nary a bead

By Debra Dobbins

The clue yesterday for “niggling” was “petty.” That makes sense; both are adjectives.

The verb form is “niggle.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it came into English in the 1590s, very likely stemming from a Norwegian dialectal word, nigle, which meant “be busy with trifles.”

Webster’s defines ”niggle” as “to work fussily; pay too much attention to petty details; be finicky.”

I can relate. Recently I’ve taken on more proofreading duties at the Sentinel. I suspect folks around here are already murmuring that I can niggle, aka nit-pick, with the best – or maybe worst – of ‘em.

It’s a plum job, really. Someone else has to do the hard work of actually writing up copy under deadline pressure. Then the copy is handed to me, and I get to fussily delete a comma here, add one there, pounce upon a typo or two and hand the copy back. I don’t even have to make the revisions.

I’d like to claim I sweat the small stuff, but nit-picking comes so naturally I pop nary a bead.

Nope, niggling isn’t a tough job, and I’m glad I’m the “someone” who gets to do it.

 

Photo special to the Sentinel
 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Obscure Basquiat Record Reissued for Black Friday Record Store Day
By David Goe
Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thrifty Christmas Gifts continued
By Julie Norman
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Little brother armor
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Get your (control) freak on
By Melinda Mawdsley
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The last harvest
By Penny Stine
Monday, November 24, 2014


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy