Nugatory – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku

Happy Friday to you! Today’s Word of the Day from dictionary.com is another one of those dinosaur words. It is a word that appeared in the early 17th century and had a fairly good run of it until the 20th century. One might even say that “Nugatory” is a nugatory word.

So why am I spending an entire post on this nugatory word? Why do I spend any Friday, for that matter, on a nugatory quest in pursuit of interesting anecdotes for nugatory words? (I’m not sure I like this word…it doesn’t roll off the tongue like some words do…perhaps this is why it has gone the way of the dodo!)

And yet here we are. One might say, I pursue these words on a dare. And this is true. I am determined to see it through, this challenge I set for myself to write a haiku based on dictionary.com’s word of the day. Or you might say it is because I have a haiku to write. But I certainly don’t need the added aggravation of trying to fit a long-in-syllable, obsolete word into a haiku when there are plenty of reasonable prompts available to me.

The thing is, when Thursday evening comes, my excitement grows in anticipation of Friday’s word drop. Sometimes I even wait up until midnight to have a look. (Note: the Word of the Day doesn’t post at 00:00:01…just an FYI if you’re interested. Sometimes it doesn’t post for HOURS after midnight.) But it is the surprise of it and the challenge of it that gives me joy! It matters not to me how nugatory a word may be…even if the nugatory word is in fact “nugatory”!

Because words…beautiful words in all their forms, quirks and origins have value in the role that they have played in defining how we have evolved over time. If you don’t believe me, consult the Urban Dictionary to be enlightened.

I admit, I do love reading dictionaries for FUN! And I also love writing Haiku. So what’s not to love about this nugatory weekly practice?! I can’t think of anything! 🙂

Have a great weekend! And if you dare, snuggle up with a good book, like um…a dictionary or an encyclopedia if you’re really looking for something deep! 🙂

From a simple Google Search I found this definition:

nu·ga·to·ry ˈn(y)o͞oɡəˌtôrē/adjective

adjective: nugatory
1-of no value or importance. “a nugatory and pointless observation”
synonyms: worthless, unimportant, inconsequential, valueless, trifling, trivial,
insignificant, meaningless “a nugatory observation”

2-useless; futile.”the teacher shortages will render nugatory the hopes of
implementing the new curriculum” synonyms: futile, useless, vain, unavailing,
null, invalid “the shortages will render our hopes nugatory”

Origin
early 17th century: from Latin nugatorius, from nugari ‘to trifle,’ from nugae ‘jests.’

Nugatory Haiku

nobody listened
her thoughts were nugatory
they assumed…what fools!

we dismiss cursive
as a nugatory form
scorned like the dodo.

it’s nugatory
the way some candidates stump
as if they will win.

kat ~ 5 February 2016


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