Aug 3, 2009

WORD OF THE WEEK: Please Don't Be Prolix

Have you ever been accused of over-explaining yourself? If so, you may be a little prolix.

But have you ever tried to find the word over-explain in the dictionary? I have—and I discovered a little irony there, because it left me at a loss for words: The only online dictionary that readily linked me to overexplain (sans hyphen) was And that was probably only because it's an open source, user-driven dictionary. Otherwise, you have to settle for synonyms if you want to link to the meaning of any variants of the word over-explanation.

One of those synonyms is prolix: From the Latin word prolixus for "fluid" and "forward," it entered the English language around the 15th century and means "tediously lengthy." Other synonyms include verbose, bombastic, and long-winded—a word which actually does breeze its way through most recognized dictionaries, online or otherwise.

Interestingly, prolix has two distinct pronunciations, either of which are correct: Both containing the long O sound (as in hope), the accent can be placed on the first syllable (PRO-lix) or the second (pro-LIX).

Have I said too much?

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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