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Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Thing To Do Today: edulcorate something. sounds like being forced to learn dull things, like a list of the Roman Emperors as low as Severus (not that the Roman Emperors are dull, far from it. I doubt that any of them was half as respectable as our own dear Queen. But learning lists is always dull).

Anyway, as it happens edulcorate is nothing to do with education, and little to do with dullness.

To edulcorate something, if you're a chemist, is to wash it in order to dissolve away impurities.

If you're not a chemist - or if you're a chemist on holiday - then to edulcorate something is to sweeten it.

So now, next time we meet a very pompous person, we can ask him if he habitually edulcorates his tea.

Go on: I dare you!

Thing To Do Today: edulcorate something. This word comes from the Latin word dulcor, which means sweetness.

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