Word of the Week Wednesday: inkhorn

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: inkhorn.

Literally, an inkhorn is just what it sounds like: a container made of horn used to hold ink.  But by now you should know that I always prefer the expanded, figurative meaning.

Figuratively, it means pretentiously academic in the use of language, especially by the overuse of Latin or Greek loan-words.

It got this meaning because the ink horn was a tool used by academics and thus became associated with them, particularly their tendency to be annoyingly pedantic.

I chose this word as a self-referential dig.  It gives me the opportunity to remind myself of the dangers of becoming too pedantic inherent in writing a blog on language.

It’s all well and good to have a healthy love of language and share that love with others, but I want to remain ever-vigilant, lest I become sesquipedalian.



About Dan Kingsepp, ACS, ALS
I'm starting this blog to share my thought on the use of the English language and my experiences as a Toastmaster.

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