13 December 2004

Word for the Day

perfervid · p&r-FUR-vid · adjective

:ardent; impassioned; marked by exaggerated or overwrought emotion.

Good movies evaporate, while the market is flooded with inanity. critics can’t do much to stop this, but when you read perfervid reviews of the latest commercial offerings it’s plain that they do little to cool things down.
--Armond White, "Best Movies, Saddest Culture," New York Press, July 5, 2000

Years ago Philip Roth published a perspicacious essay on the pitfalls of writing satire, the gist of which was that the daily absurdities in our morning newspapers too often outdid even a novelist’s most perfervid imaginings.
--Mordecai Richler, "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind," New York Times, April 11, 1999

Or under the button-down exterior of a familiar Westchester suburbanite was there a giant cockroach eager to mud-wrestle a man in black? Or was this merely a quirk of Miss Polk’s perfervid imagination?
--Mel Gussow, "Novelist Fires Off Opening of Fictional Relay on Net," New York Times, August 2, 1997

Perfervid is from Latin per-, "through, thoroughly" + fervidus, "boiling," from fervere, "to boil."
This word is remorselessly stolen from A Word a Day, www.wordsmith.org.

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