This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: interlocutor

I'd never heard anyone say this word until about six months ago, and now it's all over the place.

It's a horrible tinny little word, too, like a very cheap clockwork train going over some very rickety points.

(You say it INterLOCerta.)

All it means is someone who takes part in a conversation - and it's far too grand a word for that. Questioner or interviewer or even interviewee must be preferable (though interviewee is pretty nasty, too).

An interlocutor can also be the front man in a troupe of minstrels - the one who does the announcements and engages the others in conversation.

If you're in Scotland, it can be a decree by a judge. 

I just wish a judge would make a decree to throw it into jug for a long long time.

Word Not To Use Today: interlocutor. This foul word is annoying enough to pollute the atmosphere with no fewer than three feminine forms: -tress, -trice and -trix. Curse it!

This word is made up of the Latin inter, which means between or among or together, and loquī, to speak.


  1. There's a typo in your title! Sounds like
    the title of a book in itself! I wonder what an interlocator is...maybe someone who can talk you into moving house!

  2. Thanks, Adele! All corrected, now.

    See what a horrible word it is? It's even impossible to spell!