Schingle's Blog

April 26, 2021

Try Working This One Into a Sentence

Filed under: images, language, musings, Mysteries, Reminiscneces, Reviews, words — Tags: , , , — schingle @ 3:37 pm

All right, for today, I’m not disillusioned with the word of the day. Today’s word? Sumpsimus. Its meaning? “…adherence to or persistence in using a strictly correct term, holding to a precise practice, etc., as a rejection of an erroneous but more common form…”

The story behind the etymology is rather long but I will present a condensed version from dictionary.com: “The odd noun sumpsimus, ‘adherence to a correct word or practice while rejecting an erroneous but more common one; a person who stubbornly adheres to such correctness,’ has an equally odd history. Sumpsimus is actually a Latin verb form ‘we have taken,’ the first person plural perfect indicative of sumere ‘to take, take up.’ The traditional story behind sumpsimus is that Erasmus, the Dutch humanist and scholar, wrote a letter in 1516 about an English priest who, when he was corrected about his use of incorrect mumpsimus for the correct sumpsimus, said he would not change his old mumpsimus for the new sumpsimus. Sumpsimus entered English in the first half of the 16th century.”

Though I can’t imagine working the word “sumpsimus” into a sentence, I know, historically, I have employed sumpsimus within my working environments. To wit: way back when, I used to work in social services. We had to write up service plans with specific goals. People commonly, even routinely, would write goals such as “Joe will brush his teeth without physical assistance with 3 prompts or less.” I was the asshole that would always point out, it should be “3 or fewer” not “3 or less.” Though my version is actually gramaticlly correct, people still commonly wrote it the other way. It’s vexing, but whatcha gonna do?

And there is today’s word of the day.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this beginning of the work week Monday.

3 Comments »

  1. This inspires me to write a post about when my spouse and I argue philosophically over road-kill. 🙂

    Comment by melaniereynolds — April 26, 2021 @ 4:23 pm

  2. […] Try Working This One Into a Sentence | Schingle’s Blog (wordpress.com) April 26th blog post re: sumpsimus. […]

    Pingback by Philosophical Roadkill – The Nature-led Life — May 12, 2021 @ 7:41 pm


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