Once-a-Book word: Desultory

Like Mr. Miyagi teaching ‘the crane’ to Daniel-san, I will now teach you your own ‘special move’—a once-a-book word that will awe and befuddle your readers. I beg of you: Use it sparingly!


Hmm. What to say about desultory?

Something about this word sounds pretty to me. Is that weird?

I certainly doesn’t look pretty. On paper, it looks like a word-monster, with ‘desolation’ for a head, ‘insult’ for a body, and ‘purgatory’ for a tail.

Des-sult-tory. Hmm. What was I talking about?

Oh yeah. Desultory. When I hear the word spoken, I first think of an illusion, something fleeting and beautiful and slightly dangerous.



Anyway, the true definition of ‘desultory’ skims across of those concepts, to some degree. Kind of?

It means aimless, halfhearted, unfocused. It can also mean random, or sporadic—but always in a lukewarm, lazy sort of a way.

Y’know what I mean? Does that make sense? Kind of?

Oh never mind.

If you care, here are some other once-a-book words I wrote about. Click ‘em. Or whatever.
Peripatetic. Sanguine. Sartorial.

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