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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat May 18, 2013 10:46 pm

• ultracrepidarian •

Pronunciation: êl-trê-kre-pê-der-i-yên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective, Noun

Meaning: 1. [Adjective] Talking about things beyond the scope of one's knowledge. 2. [Noun] Someone who talks about things of which they know little or nothing.

Notes: OK, so this word isn't used much anymore. That doesn't reflect a lack of need for it. It is a bit long, but then you can use this word as a noun or an adjective. In fact, a few waggish writers have used the verb ultracrepidate and the noun ultracrepidation, so we have a full complement of derivations supporting today's Good Word.

In Play: How many times have you made the mundane comment, "You don't know what you're talking about?" Well, now you can kick your style up a notch with a comment like this: "You have no idea how much we all enjoy your ultracrepidarian comments!" It will be taken as a compliment, you will be taken as a gracious person, and only subscribers to the Good Word will know what you really mean. "Wow! 'ultra-' yet," your victim will think to himself. Feel free to use this adjective as a noun: "It is so hard to talk to these people who get their information from the ultracrepidarians bantering on TV news shows."

Word History: Today's Good Word is based on the Latin phrase ultra crepidam "above the sandals" from a fascinating anecdote originating in ancient Greece. The great Greek painter, Apelles of Kos (4th century BCE), occasionally allowed the public to criticize his works. One day, a cobbler dropped by and criticized his depiction of a sandal in a painting. Apelles revised his painting, which pleased the cobbler so much that the next day he proceeded to criticize the painting of the whole leg. This was more than Apelles could take, so he punished the cobbler with words that remain a proverb today. The Latin version of those words is: Ne sutor ultra crepidam "(Cobbler) don't judge above the sandals." (Brian Hall wasn't ultracrepidarian when he suggested today's Good Word, for which, I am sure, we are all thankful.)
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Re: Ultracrepidarian

Postby MTC » Sun May 19, 2013 6:45 am

To take the eymology of ultracrepidarian one step further, the word was cobbled together from other words in the Latin translation of a Greek sentence by Apelles:

The term ultracrepidarian was first publicly recorded in 1819 by the essayist William Hazlitt in a letter to William Gifford, the editor of the Quarterly Review.[1]: "You have been well called an Ultra-Crepidarian critic."[2] It was used again four years later in 1823, in the satire by Hazlitt's friend Leigh Hunt, Ultra-Crepidarius: a Satire on William Gifford. 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... // William Hazlitt (10 April 1778 – 18 September 1830) was an English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, often esteemed the greatest English literary critic after Samuel Johnson. ... William Gifford (1756 - 1826), critic and poet, was born of humble parentage at Ashburton, Devonshire, and after being for a short time at sea, was apprenticed to a cobbler. ...

(http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedi ... idarianism)

The well-born Hazlitt, son of a Unitarian minister, must have been inspired to put down Gifford, a man "of humble parentage," by Apelles' similar put down of the humble cobbler who dared to speak out of turn. One snobbish act invites another.

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Re: Ultracrepidarian

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun May 19, 2013 12:09 pm

Doc's comment about the talking heads on
places like Sunday Morning News shows sure
fits the bill.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

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