Classical Usage: Christine introduced us to her yesterday. The furrowed forehead in question belongs to Vronsky’s mother. Here’s how my old school, Edmonds-translated Penguin edition describes her: . . . a wizened old lady with black eyes and ringlets . . .
Classically Mad Usage: It’s about time I brought back this series, especially in light of this word. I’m not too proud to admit that when I read ‘wizened’ I didn’t exactly have the right picture in mind of Countess Vronskaya. I’m also not too wizened to admit that I assumed it meant, um, wise. Yup. Not very wize of me. Well, now you know, if you want to insult me and leave me with a false sense of self-confidence, this word is at your disposal.