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MENDACIOUS

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MENDACIOUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:55 pm

• mendacious •

Pronunciation: men-day-shês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Completely untrue or untruthful by nature, characteristically false or dishonest.

Notes: Mendacious refers to a general characteristic rather than a momentary state. A person can be dishonest about a single event without being characteristically dishonest. Mendacity is a persistent trait of a person or a fact. The adverb is mendaciously and the noun, mendacity [men-dæ-sê-tee]. If mendacious doesn't attract enough attention, try mendaciloquent instead. This word has the same meaning as mendacious but with the implication of an attractively elaborate lie.

In Play: Don't waste today's Good Word on friends who occasionally tell a fib; save it for those who live by fabrication: "The salesman from whom Carmen Ghia bought her car was as mendacious as a campaigning politician." This word may also be used to refer to the story fabricated: "I hope you don't believe all those mendacious tales Hillbourne tells about his romantic affair with the mother of the Blues Brothers, Bertha Dee."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin mendax (mendac-s) "mendacious", based on the noun mendum "blemish, error". Where the root of this word came from is something of a mystery. We do know that it is also found in Latin emendare "correct, amend" from ex "out of" + mendum. This word went on to become Old French amender, borrowed by English as amend. The same root also underlies Latin mendican(t)s "begging, beggar", the present participle of mendicare "to beg", from mendicus "needy, beggar". (We would have to be passively mendacious to hide our debt to Michael Oberndorf for suggesting today's Good Word.)
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Postby Slava » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:19 pm

An interesting coincidence here. As all politicians are always begging for funds, does that help explain why they are mendacious, too?
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Equal time

Postby MTC » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:58 am

Balancing "good" words with "bad" ones, let's not forget veracious, the antonym of mendacious, and veriloquent, the antonym of mendaciloquent.

Feel better now?
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:51 am

Some Christian religious orders, notably the
Franciscans, are called "mendicants".
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:58 am

I love Bertha Dee!
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Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:36 pm

Ah yes, the Grey Friars. They couldn't afford to dye their robes black nor to bleach them white, so they just wore them the way they came from the sheep.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:18 pm

Franciscans are heavily involved in Catholic churches around here. They only wear robes on official occasions. But I remember a time about 20 years ago when the KKK was out in their robes on the Jonesboro, LA courthouse for some kind of demonstration. My friend the local priest thought if they wanted robes, he would wrap himself in a more ancient and honorable one. He did so and showed up to engage them in dialogue for which they were totally unprepared.
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