Dr. Goodword wrote:• importunate •
Pronunciation: im-por-chê-nêt or -tyê-nêt • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: 1. Insistently and urgently besetting someone with a request. 2. Troublesome, bothersome, frustrating, annoying; impertinent.
Notes: Today's Good Word has such a unique meaning that it cannot be replaced. It is the adjective of the verb importune "to beset anxiously and urgently with a request", as in "Could I importune you for the key to my office; someone seems to have changed the lock since Friday." Since we usually importune those we know only with important issues, we must be careful to differentiate today's word by its ending and the additional UN before it. The noun is a rather common and boring importunateness.
In Play: Children tend to be more importunate than adults: "When a 6-year-old comes to your desk with an importunate request to go to the restroom, it is best to honor the request." However, importunateness is not strictly a phenomenon of childhood: "Matilda, how importunate of you to ask for your paycheck while I'm doing my nails!"
Word History: Today's word was traced almost perfectly from French importuner "to importune" from Old French importun "inopportune", a word French inherited from Latin importunus "unsuitable, unfit, inconvenient". This Latin word is made up of in- "not" + portus "port, refuge", the source of English port (again, via French). The same root is found, of course, in opportune, which some etymologists believe underlies today's word, going back to Latin in + opportunus with a subsequent loss of the prefix op- in opportunus.
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Here's today's Good Word:
I find it interesting that the Bible urges us to be importunate with God. In Luke 18:1-8 the parable of the importunate widow is shown to be a parallel to importunate prayer. I don't think we should say, "God do this for me or I will hold my breath, turn blue, and die." But I do think we should let God know what we think of things and what we want to happen. God then answers. Usually for me it is, "You don't know what you are asking."
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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