Word of the Week! Diligent

Just today I thanked a student for being so diligent. Then I wondered when she may have last heard that word. The word seems, like diligence itself, to have fallen out of favor in our harum-scarum culture.

This week’s term is OLD. Look at the OED’s entry, with a first recorded use of 1340. The Latin roots of our word need no lengthy explication. What strikes me as fascinating involves the rather small number of definitions: like the virtue signified, the word for it remains industriously, assiduously, painstakingly, on a single path.  I got to use a few synonyms in that sentence, too.

Now don’t mistake being diligent for being brilliant. Sometimes to pays to “work smarter,” as a cliche goes. But attention to details never hurts.

Finally, consider being diligent before using “super,” a word I detest in writing and tolerate with a cringe in speech. Yes, cringe. I will lose that battle. Why not avoid “he worked super hard” and instead use “he worked diligently”?

Because: rushed, careless, harum-scarum. And there I rest my case as diligently as a I can.

Nominate a word by e-mailing me (jessid -at- richmond -dot- edu) or leaving a comment below.

See all of our Metaphors of the Month here and Words of the Week here.

Image by Enokson from Flicker. I keep bee-hives and these creatures exemplify diligence.