Classical Usage: St Clare treats the poor child Topsy sort of like a family pet, and when she hid behind his chair because she was in some bit of trouble he would coax her out. “From him she got many a stray picayune, which she laid out in nuts and candies, and distributed, with careless generosity, to all the children in the family; for Topsy, to do her justice, was good-natured and liberal, and only spiteful in delf-defense.” I love how HBS breaks away from Augustine’s image of her by showing us her true kind colors.
Classically Mad Usage: My husband was reading over my list of vocab words, and when he got to this one he was shocked that I didn’t know what it meant. You see, his mother used this word all of the time when they were growing up to talk about things that didn’t really matter. So now I have just one goal: I will get my mother-in-law to use this word in a conversation. I’ll report back when it happens.