Sunday, December 19, 2010


New word of the day: egregious

For some reason, I've run across this word about 4 times over the weekend.  It means "outstandingly bad" or "shocking" but originally meant the exact opposite, "remarkably good".

Sometime between the mid 16th century and the late 16th century people of the time period started using it in an ironic fashion (As in, for example, "This meal is so egregious I think I'm going to puke." - "puke" being another late 16th century addition to the language along with the letter "j", by the way.).  It's a bit like Michael Jackson callnig himself "bad" when we all know he really meant "good".

So how are we going to remember this new word?  Try to "attach" new vocabulary words with something else that will help you remember.  For example, "egregious" has the name "Greg" in it.  Well, you could think of my old friend Greg.  He was once "remarkably good" but has since become "outstandingly bad".  It is an unfortunate situation really.

The pronunciation is a bit strange as well.  The two "g"s are pronounced differently, the first one hard and the second soft.  Here's a link to hear it being said out loud.

Hope you guys are having a good weekend.

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