Making This Monday Effable

Chicago woke up to snow this April morning. Minneapolis has anywhere from three to six inches on the near horizon. But that does not mean anyone should be looking for an excuse to utter ‘eff’ this–no, today’s post concerns a matter of linguistics.

Dennis Ryan, OLSON, AdvertisingThis weekend, I threw up an innocuous Facebook status that read “Easter Egg Trees in the rain look ineffably sad.” It drew a few comments but none as informative as this one:

“ineffable” is one of those bizarre words. “Incapable of being described in words” and yet it’s an adjective–a word used to describe or modify another word. And you rarely see it used in its de-prefixed form “effable”–because rather than say “that’s effable”, people just use words to describe the subject.

This insightful commentary comes from Mark Wegener, a banker with a highly-unlikely wit who blogs sporadically at Local Paper.  It also firms up my knowledge of this word, which candidly, was a bit shaky. Yet another upside of the participatory web. Thank you Mark for being so…ept (as opposed to ‘inept’).  And Happy Monday.

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By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

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Andrea says:

Thanks for the linguistics lesson, dennis (and Mark), but I think I will still reserve the right to say WTF and this effing weather is awful because otherwise, my 4-year old might start repeating the alternative words I might be inclined to use.