Students aren’t the only one who are getting an educational boost today.
In the “rail” — the column of brief notices and keys to interesting stories — on Page 1 today you’ll find a new feature: the Word of the Day. It’s “taciturn,” a word derived from the French taciturne, from Middle French, from Latin taciturnus, from tacitus, and dating to 1734 according to Merriam-Webster Online. Our well-thumbed newsroom Random House dictionary leaves the French out of it and says the word came from the Latin taciturn(us), “quiet,” equivalent to tacit(us) “silent” plus -urnus, an adjective suffix of time.
As best we can discover with the reference works in the newsroom, it has nothing to do with the Roman historian Tacitus, who doesn’t appear to have been taciturn at all, or the lunar crater of the same name.
Perhaps you’ll be less taciturn if you check the Word of the Day each morning and try to work it into your conversation during the day. Anyway, we hope you’ll enjoy it.