Sunday, January 23, 2011

Legerity. An example of how thesauruses can be misleading.

This word showed up when I looked up speed in a thesaurus. However, I decided to look up the definition of it, to see whether it was quite the same thing. It does not seem so!

Webster saysalert facile quickness of mind or body
Princeton says: the gracefulness of a person or animal that is quick and nimble
My input: I think Princeton puts it better, by using the word gracefulness. I think I'll do facile next, for those of you who did not learn any French.

le as in the French le. ger as in geriatric, sounds like jer in Jerry. it as in... it. y as in happy.
Webster audio
(I can't figure out a word that has le in it with that sound, or even one that e sound in it right now. Tell me if you can think of one)

agility, lightness, lightsomeness, nimbleness

really? Lightsomeness is an acceptable word? Sounds weird.

I wonder. What is the point of having multiple words for the same thing? Why should someone be considered well learned if they know pointless variations of a word for the same concept? I surmise that we are simply creatures that enjoy novelty.

The evolution of language is something that seems close to mind boggling. The amount of time and effort it must have taken for the words we have to be imagined/put together, and accepted by a large enough community, is astounding. Not to mention the alphabet, and figuring out sounds that were easy for everyone to replicate.

This post has taken too long... I will look up each synonym later :x


  1. Do you mean le is in levity, legume and lentil? Or is it a different pronunciation?

    Really like your blog, followed. Check mine out at

  2. Cool post and blog - now following
    I once read a book (I forget the author) but he wrote the whole thing with out using any words with the letter 'e' in them...

  3. sounds like a portmanteau of legit and sincerity

    following you

  4. @nipponnation: it sounds like luh. the words you provided have a leh sound to them.