Thursday, August 06, 2015

Word of the day: po-faced

The word of the day is po-faced:

adjective Chiefly British.

  1. having an overly serious demeanor or attitude; humorless. (

"The tones tend to reappear as needed: 'Zuleika Dobson' (1911) is, with its po-faced climax of mass suicide among the Oxford undergraduates in despair at Zuleika's beauty, very much in the first, aesthetic manner."

- Adam Gopnik, "The Comparable Max: Max Beerbohm's cult of the diminutive", 3 August 2015 The New Yorker (

Unrelated, but I'd like to note here that I think the sole reason he wrote this article was so that he could say, "Reading Max, you can sense why Paris, in that last great exhalation of writing before the Great War, remade human consciousness, while London, during the same time, remade only its manners.  Dandies, it seems, are dandy; but belles-lettres is better."

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