Thursday, November 10, 2011

Word of the day: raillery

The word of the day is raillery:

Etymology:  < French raillerie (a1495 in Middle French) < railler (see rail v.5) + -erie -ery suffix. 
1.a. Good-humoured ridicule or banter, often disguising a serious purpose; teasing, mockery. 
b. An instance of this; a satirical, teasing, or mocking remark. 
2. Abuse, invective; unpleasant or unkind criticism; taunting. (OED)

"In the years following Kael’s rise to influence, her career swiftly acquired the social rhythms of a fall term in the seventh grade: best friends announced themselves; enemies followed; friends soured into enemies; enemies warmed into friends; and several people, friends and enemies alike, tired of the raillery and went off to play on their own. The underside of Kael’s contrarianism was a constant hunger for material to rage against, and many conflicts were (as seventh graders say) her own fault."

 - Nathan Heller, "What she said: The doings and undoings of Pauline Kael", 24 October 2011 The New Yorker

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