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Assiduous

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Assiduous

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:09 pm

• assiduous •


Pronunciation: ê-sij-u-ês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Unflaggingly diligent, persistent (people). 2. Constant, unremitting, persistent (actions).

Notes: Today's word is unusual in that it contains three vowels in a row, UOU. It also contains a double S; don't forget to double your Ss when writing this word. It comes with the expectable adverb, assiduously, and the predictable noun, assiduousness. Assiduity hasn't been used for about a century now.

In Play: The two meanings of assiduous are not far apart. The first sense is "unremittingly diligent": "Clara Sill was most assiduous in following the electrician as he wired her new house to make sure he did his job properly." The other is simply "unremittingly persistent": "Through assiduous genealogical research, Henny Peckham discovered his great-great-granddad fought on both sides during the US Civil War."

Word History: Today's Good Word is Latin assiduus "constantly busy or occupied", with an O separating the double U, courtesy of French. The Latin adjective came from assidere "to sit down to", comprising ad "to" + sedere "to sit". The root of sedere came from a Proto-Indo-European word prevalent in all Indo-European languages. The same root that went into the making of sedere also produced Sanskrit sidati "sits", Greek ezesthai "to sit" and hedra "seat, chair", Welsh sedd "seat" and eistedd "sitting", Russian sidet' "to sit", sest' "sit down (or up)", and sad "garden". In the Germanic languages we see it in German sitzen "sit, be sitting" and setzen "sit down", and English sit and set. (The suggestion of today's extremely Good Word came from Bhushan Chivane, the first suggestion to come from the alphaDictionary Facebook page.)
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Re: Assiduous

Postby Slava » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:28 pm

Not that it has anything to do with assiduous directly, but the Russian verb sidet' has an interesting idiomatic use.

"Gde sidel?" means, in English, "What prison were you in?" :D

Always a good idea to be careful what you say in a foreign language, no?
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Re: Assiduous

Postby MTC » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:27 am

Dr. G noted the English word "assiduous" developed from a PIE root which also gave us "Welsh...eistedd "sitting." This reminded me of the Welsh celebration of poetry, music, and dance called the Eisteddfod.

Welsh eisteddfod (“session”), from eistedd (“to sit”) +‎ bod (“ to be”) (be sitting)

The Welsh are not to be found sitting on their hands when it comes to preserving their culture.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby call_copse » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:14 am

Quite..I am entertained slightly by the tussle between traditionalists who wish to rename their village 'Y Farteg' to avoid English corruptions, and those wishing to maintain a ... more dignified name.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/shor ... hange-name
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Re: Assiduous

Postby gwray » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:01 am

"Assiduity hasn't been used for about a century now."

Houghton Mifflin Canadian Dictionary 1982
discussion of synonyms at "busy"
"Assiduous emphasizes sustained devotion to work. Sedulous adds to assiduity the sense of earnest, persistent, painstaking labor."
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Re: Assiduous

Postby MTC » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:11 am

gwray wrote:"Assiduous emphasizes sustained devotion to work. Sedulous adds to assiduity the sense of earnest, persistent, painstaking labor."


All this talk about work and labor has left me feeling quite tired. Eyelids getting heavy, sleepy now... dreaming...Someone said "Farteg" sounds like "fart egg." (Wow, what a crazy dream! In Welsh, too.)
Last edited by MTC on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:24 am

While the claim that assiduity hasn't been used in a century isn't quite true, the word is far from common. According to the ngram viewer, it's hanging on at about 0.00003% of words, as of 2005.

Assiduousness isn't very high on the list, either, coming in at 0.00012%. Four times as often, but not common.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby MTC » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:46 am

Well then, let's make "assiduity" more popular by giving it an additional sense. The common ass ( Equus africanus asinus) appears to be in no danger of extinction. Over the years I've met a great many asses, e.g., braying asses, pompous asses, thoroughgoing asses, Golden Asses (e.g. Donald Trump), etc. Why not add the sense, "the state or condition of being a persistent ass?" After all, some recover from their asininity, while others remain asses for life.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:49 pm

Lain, Iloved the newstory. Why does anyone bother to write fiction anymore?
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Re: Assiduous

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:54 pm

MTC wrote:Well then, let's make "assiduity" more popular by giving it an additional sense. The common ass ( Equus africanus asinus) appears to be in no danger of extinction. Over the years I've met a great many asses, e.g., braying asses, pompous asses, thoroughgoing asses, Golden Asses (e.g. Donald Trump), etc. Why not add the sense, "the state or condition of being a persistent ass?" After all, some recover from their asininity, while others remain asses for life.



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Re: Assiduous

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:55 pm

Then there's the tiny town in Austria, the name of which we must most assiduously work to pronounce properly. It rhymes with booking, but it's spelling cannot be posted here.

Do a web search for: "odd named small town in Austria" to learn why. :shock:
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Re: Assiduous

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:03 pm

Slava, where do you come up with this stuff? It's totally hilarious. As I said on another thread we don't need to write fiction anymore. This world is unbelievable! I may simply read Wikipedia from cover to cover to see what I'm missing.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:23 am

I looked it up for sure. Your " cannot post here " made me
do it. I actually think I passed thru there. I remember
seeing it on the road map I was following as the tour bus
moved along.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Perry wrote: "Lain, I loved the new story. Why does anyone bother to write fiction anymore?" I agree with your comments, but who is Lain? Could it be that the sans-serif font these messages get printed in has confused you? It does me. Capital I (ie) and lower-case l (ell) look alike. Try Iain with a capital I.
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Re: Assiduous

Postby call_copse » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:21 am

Thanks Philip - I'd have felt slightly pompous pointing that out myself.
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