Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Word of the Day for Tuesday August 9, 2005

captious \KAP-shuhs\, adjective:
1. Marked by a disposition to find fault or raise objections.
2. Calculated to entrap or confuse, as in an argument.

The most common among those are captious individuals who
can find nothing wrong with their own actions but
everything wrong with the actions of everybody else.
--"In-Closet Hypocrites," [1]Atlanta Inquirer, August 15,

Mr Bowman had, I think, been keeping Christmas Eve, and was
a little inclined to be captious: at least, he was not on
foot very early, and to judge from what I could hear,
neither men nor maids could do anything to please him.
--M. R. James, [2]The Haunted Dolls' House and Other

Most authors would prefer readers such as Roiphe over
captious academic critics.
--Steven Moore, "Old Flames," [3]Washington Post, November
26, 2000

With the imperturbablest bland clearness, he, for five
hours long, keeps answering the incessant volley of fiery
captious questions.
--Thomas Carlyle, [4]The French Revolution

Captious is derived from Latin captiosus, "sophistical,
captious, insidious," from captio, "a taking, a fallacy,
sophism," from capere, "to take, to seize."

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