Friday, December 27, 2019

Punctilio, today’s new word

Usually, the M-W Word of the day is familiar to me, so I don’t spend a lot of time on it, but this one I don’t recall using or even seeing. Punctilious, yes, and according to the explanation, they come from the same Latin root, pungere.

1. a minute detail of conduct in a ceremony or in observance of a code;
2. careful observance of forms (as in social conduct)

“We'll get straight to the point: there are a number of English words that come from Latin pungere, meaning "to prick" or "to sting." Punctilio is one of these words. It traces back to pungere by way of Italian puntiglio (meaning "small point," "point of honor," or "scruple"), Spanish puntillo (the diminutive of punto, meaning "point"), and Latin punctum (also meaning "point"). The adjective punctilious, meaning "marked by or concerned about precise accordance with the details of codes or conventions," is a close relative of punctilio. Do you have any guesses for other pungere derivatives? Punctuate, puncture, compunction, punctual, and pungent are some of the more common ones.”

No comments: