whataboutery

Pronounced: what-uh-BOUT-uhr-ee, noun

Notes: This word makes me laugh… a bit. Most of us have experienced whataboutery


Yesterday’s word

The word Panglossian means “having extreme optimism, despite ongoing hardship, difficulty, or adversity”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

I thought for sure I would know this, since I recognized pan as “every” or “all”, and glossia as “tongue” (“language” by extension). So, I thought it would be someone who spoke a lot of languages — also known as a polyglot. So, I was surprised to read the definition to see how far off I was. This was the name of a character (Pangloss) in a play (Candide) by Voltaire who was optimistic (the character, not Voltaire). The upper case of this word should have been a clue to me… but it wouldn’t have helped to define it. I can take some consolation in that I correctly parsed the word. There is a Greek word – panglossía, which means “wordiness; garrulousness”, which does come from the two words I noted above. Someone who is “all tongue” would be wordy, indeed!

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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