Classical Usage: Mr. Rochester is having one of his illusive conversations with Jane. He’s hinting, dropping ambiguous lines of truth into overstated overtures, and making intriguing statements about his own, and her, character. Those conversations where you first get to know someone, first fall in love with them, and yet know little of their history are so important because each sentence can reveal decades of insight. This is one of the many nuggets from his past Mr. Rochester gave Jane to examine, “When fate wronged me, I had not he wisdom to remain cool: I turned desperate; then I degenerated. Now, when any vicious simpleton excites my disgust by his paltry ribaldry, I cannot flatter myself that I am better than he: I am forced to confess that he and I are on a level.”
Classically Mad Usage: Here at the Blog we try to refrain from all forms of ribaldry. The same cannot be said for Cervantes and Swift. I’m sure glad we passed that potty-mouthed phase of classic literature, and now I have a word to describe it that sounds much more respectable.