Monday, December 24, 2007


OBSOLETE, adj. No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words. A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer. Indeed, a writer's attitude toward "obsolete" words is as true a measure of his literary ability as anything except the character of his work. A dictionary of obsolete and obsolescent words would not only be singularly rich in strong and sweet parts of speech; it would add large possessions to the vocabulary of every competent writer who might not happen to be a competent reader.

2007 Update:  Able to inspire hope in the aged or love in an engineer.


Anonymous said...

Can one be obsolete if one is first?

Anonymous said...

OBSOLETE adj. a condition which miraculously renders and object either twice as expensive as it used to be, or instantly worthless (like my stack of 3.5 floppy discs which this computer has no use for).

Anonymous said...

I was going to make some crack about the entire non-scatological English vocabulary being obsolete, but I read that the reported 60% decline in vocabulary between American students of 1945 and the students of today is a myth. And it was one of my favorites, too. Sigh.

TLP said...

Obsolete: Me

Ariel the Thief said...

Beautiful definition, Doug.

Very Happy Holidays to you!

Mutha said...

I think obsolete may be no longer used by the bored, rather than the timid.

Happy Holidays y'all.

Tom & Icy said...

In five more years, the Internet will be obsolete.

Cie Cheesemeister said...

Good lord--I may be obsolete in every sense of the word. I am a self-proclaimed writer who worships dead and often posthumously famous writers. I work in a retirement community and thus inspire hope in the aged that someone will come tend to their needs. And my ex-husband was almost an engineer--he dropped out in his junior year of attending college for an engineering degree.
Whatever email address you may have once had for me is also obsolete, as in gone away. I wanted to email you a holiday card to bring cheer to your curmudgeonly heart but realized that I hadn't transferred your email to my latest contact list. Ooopsy! I would be honored if you might email me at and/or so I can add you to my contact list for future curmudgeonly cheer. I promise not to spam you or to allow PANSI to make too many demands on you.

Kyahgirl said...

Your update is perfect!

Anonymous said...

obsolete - A decrepit athlete.

javajazz said...

i just wanted to wish you
a peaceful and happy holiday,
Sir Doug...
xo lisa

Anonymous said...

i just wanted to wish you a joyous holiday before you find a way to render such an emotion... obsolete.

truth be told, i'm thinking there ain't NO way you can be anything but happy -- and i surely hope that's the case, Shirley. rumor has it Santa plans to leave something other coal inside your stocking this year... be nice to think that might be true, eh Curmudgeon? ; )

mireille said...

Last year's model, except for the Prius ... oops, we know how you feel about that. I don't believe in obsolescence or adolescense or fluorescence or tumescence ... oops, guess that's enough. xoxo

Jamie Dawn said...

Merry Christmas to Doug and all of Doug's blog buddies!!!!!

Obsolete: Totally not in.

Anonymous said...

Puppy..beat me to it in a way but I was wondering if wishing you a wonderful Christmas was obselete?

Hope you have an incredible one?

G said...

Who you calling obsolete? I'm just taking my time.

Merry Christmas - have a great holiday season Santa and Walela and Willie! And to your little elf too :)

Anonymous said...

so, what? posting ON TIME is now considered obsolete?

who knew?

ah well, here's hoping you're sleeping in for a Very Good Reason, and will eventually have a Very Merry Christmas, Doug! ; ) xox

Doug The Una said...

Amoeba, not until someone else is second.

Quilly, tell it to the guy with the great collection of LPs and nothing to play them on.

Amoeba, just because it's false, doesn't make it wrong.

TLP, you're the up-to-the-second model blogmama.

Thank you, Ariel. Wonderful holidays to you.

Happy holidays, Mutha. You think the bored are more patient?

Icy, I shudder to think what will replace it. Probably roaches with clipboards.

Ob Sol Yeti, OE? Happy holidays.

Cheesie, honestly, I think obsolescence is passé. Think of yourself yourself as creatively repurposed.

Thanks, Kyah. Happy holidays.

Poobah, how about a natural one?

Thanks, JJ. May all your candles burn brightly.

Neva, I expect coal every year, but thank you, I'm enjoying myself despite the occasional lump.

Mireille, that's probably one two much.

Jamie Dawn, Merry Christmas to you and all the Arkansas hoodlums.

Thanks, Pia. I accept Merry Christmas all year around. Enjoy your holidays and I am looking out for a big Pia 2008.

Thanks G, Season's greetings to all five of you.

Neva, it's the latest thing. On-Sentiment posting! Merry Christmas to you and yours.