psitta ... Oh, I remember now

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jan 10 17:17:27 UTC 2008

At 1/10/2008 11:02 AM, Baker, John wrote:
>        Their counterpart would be the class of terms that are used with
>the deliberate intention that they will be looked up in a dictionary,
>such as when a writing text advises avoiding sesquipedalian words (O.K.,
>you knew that one), or when a legal document is criticized as being
>psittacistic (there are people who know and routinely use
>"psittacistic," without need of explanation, but they are not lawyers).

Although I am not a lawyer, I had to look up "psittacistic".  It's
not in THE dictionary!  Nor are there any quotations containing it.

Not a disaster, though; I did find "psittacistically".  There is also
"psittacine" (fig.) -- is that the approved adjective?  (And I was
reminded of my high school Latin and biology.)  Now I need to use
these words three times.

1 and 2 and 3)  "Alex the grey parrot was _not_ psittacistic,
although psittacine," he said psittacynically.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list