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Pedants' corner


(6 Posts)
Greta Tue 18-Feb-20 13:36:59

There seems to be a new word on the block – egregious. I can't say it's a word I have ever used but perhaps now I should because there has been a lot of egregious behaviour of late.

SueDonim Tue 18-Feb-20 14:17:17

It makes me think of egrets, the birds. Egrets being egregious.grin

MawB Tue 18-Feb-20 14:21:57

What do you have against egrets SueDonim ? grin

Egregious derives from the Latin word egregius meaning "distinguished" or "eminent." In its earliest English uses, ”egregious ” was a compliment to someone who had a remarkably good quality that placed him or her eminently above others
But now alas it seems to mean outstanding, but not in a good way.

Greta Tue 18-Feb-20 14:27:31

That's interesting, Maw. Now it seems to mean 'shocking'. I keep hearing it so has the word become flavour of the month?

MawB Tue 18-Feb-20 14:30:52

I think it is more likely that it reflects much of the behaviour of our times, as you suggested in your original post!

SueDonim Tue 18-Feb-20 14:31:31

There were loads of egrets where we lived in Nigeria, MawB and they foraged amongst the rubbish and carried diseases. 😷. I mostly felt sorry for them though, as they looked so dirty, unlike their country cousins who were pristine white.