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Anything You Want, Sir

16 May

obsequious – adj.  obedient to a servile extent

Classical Usage:  Handsome George poses as a powerful man of Spanish decent during his daring escape.  It works, and he has the entire inn scampering after requesting a private room, “The landlord was all obsequious, and a relay of about seven Negroes, old and young, male and female, little and big, were soon whizzing about, like a covey of partridges, bustling, hurrying, treading on each other’s toes, and tumbling over each other, in their zeal to get Mas’r’s room ready . . .”  I’m also partial to HBS’s use of “all” as an adverb, and the appearance of “whizzing” and “zeal” in the same sentence reminded me a little of Moby-Dick.

Classically Mad Usage:  Often, I order our obstreperous offspring to be more obsequious.  (I’m feeling a little Melvillesque today, too.)

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncle Tom's Cabin

 

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