Wednesday, May 28, 2008
drop, so far, meretricious,
Today's most beautiful thing, and one that it is worth looking at more closely, by clicking over the picture.
In Carluccio's delecatessen,as I buy some mozerrela, a young manager , whom I have never met before, standing in front of the counter, asks: "How's your day so far, sir?"
I wake up with the word "meretricious" on my mind. It is a good many years since I confused it with meritorious. But how did it come to mean flashy or noisily boastful? There is an almost sensual pleasure in opening a dictionary on a wet morning to find out. Its primary meaning, I learn, is "characteristic or worthy of a prosititute", being derived from the latin meretrix meaning prostitute. Three words above it my eye falls on a word I have not met before, "merdiverous". Yes, it does mean dung-eating with, as it happens, special reference to insects.