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
A cool new (but extremely old) way to water beds that have no built-in irrigation
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My dog days are over
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Things
By Julie Norman
Monday, March 30, 2015

CRANES!
By Nic.Korte
Sunday, March 29, 2015

My spring salad is growing
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, March 25, 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