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4 comments on this post.
  1. Richard:

    And yet, I keep running across contemporary usage of “desultory” as a synonym for “dispirited” or “unenthusiastic,” e.g., “a desultory mood settled over over camp with the bad news,” or, the couple had a “desultory conversation,” meaning they were hardly speaking to each other, not that the subject of the conversation kept changing.

    Do you think some writers wrongly assume the meaning of “desultory” because of the way the word sounds (it does sound rather dispirited when you say it)?

  2. S F STASH:

    Fantastic explanation.
    Just discovered [re=discovered] this website via
    “desultory,” an apparently unctious and difficult
    word to get a grip on.
    Examples extremely helpful to gain and surround
    the contextual connotation.
    Etymology also extremely helpful with multiple
    pathways and connections not often found.
    Keep up the good work on words and totally
    disregard any ongoing waffling. :-)

  3. Mark Mahan:

    Thank you so much! Your website is manna in the desert to me and my wife Kathryn.

    We were in Costa Rica birding. Some birds were so hard to photograph because they hop from branch to branch every .2 seconds (purpose unknown). I now realize that certain subject birds are indeed desultory … and it does not mean that they are irresolute or disheveled or slutty.


  4. Lakshman:

    Comment 2 was quite entertaining, creative, (i.e. a new word,”unctious,” and altogether a splendid example of desultory writing.

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