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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:26 am

• dossier •

Pronunciation: dah-see-ye, do-see-ye • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A file containing documents about a particular person, event, or subject.

Notes: Look out for the spelling of today's Good Word. This word preserves the French spelling but not the accent on the final syllable. Since dossiers are usually filed, it is often replaced by file. Dossier implies an ordered, perhaps secret, file. This word has not spawned any derivational offspring, except a plural: dossiers.

In Play: Sometimes dossiers contain so little information as to require little organization: "Bulldog Drummond's dossier contained the following rather sketchy note: 'Good speaker; clever; unscrupulous. Requires big money; worth it. Drinks.'" Other times they are so well organized they could be published: "Rhoda Book's first novel was more or less a dossier about herself."

Word History: Today's Good Word was plain out swiped from French dossier "bundle of papers labeled on the back". The word was based on dos "back", the residual of Vulgar Latin dossum, a variant of Latin dorsum "back". Dorsum underlies dorsalis "of/on the back", the origin of English dorsal. No more is known about dorsum. No other Indo-European language shows any evidence of it. (If we kept a dossier on George Kovac, it would be thick with excellent Good Word suggestions like today's.)
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Perry Lassiter
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Re: Dossier

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:55 pm

I wanted to bring this word to the top, since it is so much in vogue today.

Philip Hudson
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Re: Dossier

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:12 pm

This brings it back to the top for another perusal. What a great weight is put on this word in today's political environment. Even memos are dangerous items. In my day, I never knew a memo that was classified TOP SECRET. Even though I worked with this type of document, I would never think to write a classified memo. Most of the memos I got were of the "Don't forget to get a gallon of milk," variety. I have a tickler file of memos on my computer. But, in my dotage, I need a memo to tell me to read my tickler.
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