Friday, December 5, 2008

Word of the Day: Utensil

Word of the day: Utensil

\yu̇-ˈten(t)-səl, ˈyü-ˌ\
Middle English, vessels for domestic use, from Middle French utensile, from Latin utensilia, from neuter plural of utensilis useful, from uti to use
14th century
1 : an implement, instrument, or vessel used in a household and especially a kitchen
2 : a useful tool or implement

When I hear utensil, it sounds like a slur or a put down. It's like "You Tensil!" And, I have no idea what tensil means, but it sure sounds vicious.

Another thing about utensil is how it's overused. It's like the use of the word utensil all of a sudden makes you an erudite sophisticate. For instance, you're sitting there in a class, or at work and you turn to a friend and say, "Do you by chance have a writing utensil?" You might as well be wearing a tuxedo rolling down the window of your stretch limo asking for grey poupon.

However, in another way, you can sound very utilitarian, economic, and even efficient when you say, "Would you please get out the utensils to set the table?" In that way, you use the word instead of silverware, which everyone knows is more posh and dignified.

Hope you enjoyed that rather unnecessary diagnosis. You Tensil!

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