Thursday, November 5, 2009

Recuse me please!

So what if I don't score a perfect 10 on Reader's Digest Word Power (OK..OK.. there are 15 words but 10 sounds sexier). Even a score of 7 to 9 makes your vocabulary "promising". Word Power is tough. Take for example, "panagram" or even 'neologism". Wouldn't you judge my vocabulary to be good if I could give you the meaning of these without relying on the dictionary.

However, this morning's newspaper just stumped me. The judge "recused" himself from presiding over the case. The pocket dictionary didn't help. No, it not all hot air or gas - though  some bit of it has to do with gas - it's true. The dictionary did not have the meaning to this word. Try your word processing software or the online spell-check on your browser. They don't understand recuse. Finally, The Chambers Twentieth Century dictionary came to my recuse, sorry rescue. Recuse i.e. to disqualify oneself. I generously recused, sorry, excused myself for not knowing this word. In this day an age does anyone recluse, sorry, recuse or disqualify himself?

To me the word seems to be an anachroism in today's pushy age. Of course, once in a life-time one may stumble on a situation where unless you  recuse you cannot rescue yourself from turning into a recluse!


Anonymous said...

re⋅cuse  /rɪˈkyuz/

–verb (used with object) 1. to reject or challenge (a judge or juror) as disqualified to act, esp. because of interest or bias.

–verb (used without object) 2. to withdraw from a position of judging so as to avoid any semblance of partiality or bias.

robert d said...

If you are to the challenge -

I am the only know collector of trips.

A triplet is a group of 3 words that are spelt differently but promounced the same, e.g. new,knew,gnu. There are even a few quads.

I have a collection of 47 trips in the English language.

Getting more than 25 trips within 7 days is indicative of a wordsmith extraordinaire.

Who gnu,


Bharat R Ram said...

Robert, No matter how much I try, can't get to any worthwhile set of tri