Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Word of the day: pithy

Following the success of last year's word of the day, pecksniffian, I have a new word to add to my everyday vocabulary. The word came to my attention today in the form of feedback emailed to a colleague:
"At 15 pages in length this is a substantial document and doesn't meet requirements in terms of being a pithy and succinct indication of outcomes."
Pithy? Isn't that something found underneath the skin of citrus fruits, like mandarins or oranges?

Apparently not. Several sources offer variations on the following definitions:
  • brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression
  • full of vigor, substance, or meaning
  • terse and vigorously expressive
  • forcible
  • using few words in a clever and effective way
  • having substance and point.
I guess they make sense in the context, albeit the word just sounded very strange in a formal email.

I think pithy might be best used as a substitute word. We practised using it in some different contexts in the office today.

Favourite song:
Will Smith's Gettin' Pithy Wit It

Favourite way to feel sorry for yourself:
Throw a pithy party for ... nobody, because they wouldn't come if you invited them anyway.

Favourite band:

Favourite expression:
I'm really pithed off.

Favourite warning:
Don't pith me off.

Favourite way to describe the weather (derivative):
It's pithing down outside.

Favourite childhood game:
Pithy in the middle

Your challenge: use the word pithy in a sentence in a completely inappropriate way and see if anyone notices.

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