Monday, September 26, 2011

Word of the day: captious

The word of the day is captious:

Etymology:  < French captieux or Latin captiōs-us fallacious, sophistical, < captiōn-em (see caption n.).
1.a. Apt to catch or take one in; fitted to ensnare or perplex in argument; designed to entrap or entangle by subtlety; fallacious, sophistical. 
b. Crafty. Obs. 
2. Apt to catch at faults or take exception to actions; disposed to find fault, cavil, or raise objections; fault-finding, cavilling, carping.

"One hesitates, therefore, to criticize a life which, beginning with so little, has done so much.  And yet the time is come when one may speak in all sincerity and utter courtesy of the mistakes and shortcomings of Mr. Washington's career, as well as of his triumphs, without being thought captious or envious, and without forgetting that it is easier to do ill than well in the world."

 - W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903

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