Thursday, July 17, 2008

Word Tidbits: Gauche

Tim over at McWriters posted on the etymology of the word gauche the other day. I've always found it to be a useful insult, perfectly suited to the sort of snobby disdain it implies.

As a lefty, however, I take exception to the word. While I have suffered many a clumsy episode, I do not lack social refinements, nor am I devious, deviant, or dangerous. Gauche and the Latin "sinister" imply all of these flaws. What a hurtful term for a sophisticated lady.

Please consider this your notice to apply the term gauche whenever applicable, rescuing it from the language rubbish heap. Avoid using it rather than the word "left", however, unless you are speaking French. It's so gauche to over-vocabularize your sentences.