22 June 2011


I "learned" a new word today. I was watching a video and the guy in it said, as he tried to sound eloquent and all-knowledgeable, and I quote: 'whether real or fictitional.'
Fictitional. Hmmm.  I almost choked on my drink. When I researched it, it seems that it was first coined by Nicholas Wright, a British dramatist. There are many renowned writers who coined words, so maybe fictitional will make an appearance in a dictionary someday soon.
Also, did you know that the definition of 'fortuitous' is simply 'happening by accident or chance,' and doesn't really mean 'by fortunate accident or chance'. However, since it has been "misused" since the 1920s, surely by now it has assumed a new definition?


Anonymous said...

hey there
i just typed a note to a friend and used the word "fictitional" in an attempt to sound overly "eloquent and all knowledgeable". i only found your blog when spellcheck wouldnt verify my spelling of the word and i googled it.

so maybe its definiton should include the fact that its used to emphasize excessivness?

and i didnt know that about "fortuitous"...so thanks


Case said...

I'm about to use "Fictitional" as an in-joke, alas it does seem to be at my expense given the number of google hits suggesting it isn't (as you rightly point out 'currently') considered a 'real' word.
Is it really such a surprise that "fortuitous" has no value base? I'd take fortune, as with luck and chance, to be a continuum from which one can experience varying degrees towards either pole. But then I'm the sort of pedant who always asks people to clarify what sort of "luck" they wish (should the omit the "good").

Anonymous said...

I think "fictitional" came about from the real word "fictitious", which is one of the reason I prefer "fictive".

Anonymous said...

History channel just used "fictitional"... The History channel.