This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 6 January 2012

Word To Use Today: delinquent.

When I was young, a delinquent always sounded such a truly elegant, adventurous and glorious thing to be: it's such a lovely moonlit-waterfall of a word.

The mysterious but never-heard linquent sounded jolly juicy, too.

Of course now I know that a delinquent (practically always to be found, sadly, after the word juvenile) is a person who causes a lot of trouble. In some countries a juvenile delinquent still means someone not yet grown up who commits a crime.

It's too beautiful a word not to use and cherish, though; and surely even if every young person in your district is the epitome of graciousness and civilisation then you must surely have a delinquent dog, or squirrel, or old lady, to tut over. 

Gosh, it just me, or is the idea of a whole district full of gracious and civilised kids utterly horrifying and creepy?

I mean, who wouldn't swop a street full of Stepford kids for a little natural delinquency?

Hm. Perhaps I can feel a novel coming on...

Word To Use Today: delinquent. This word was made up in the 1600s from the Latin word dēlinquēns, which means offending, from linquere, to forsake.

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