Ernest Hemingway is said to have paused writing for days while searching for the right word. I don’t have the patience for that, though I will put my pen down and spend a few minutes racking my brain for the word on the tip of my tongue. I suspect Ernest had more on his mind than finding lexicologic Nirvana.
One word that I rarely have occasion to use is “ilk.” In fact, I can’t think of a time when I have used it. The dictionary notes that ilk is derived from a Scottish word meaning his land, or “of the place or estate of the same name.”
Noun: of that ilk; plural noun: of that ilks
“Sir Boss Braveheart of that Ilk,” meaning “of that place that bears his name.”
However, over time, ilk has become associated with unsavory characters such as hoodlums, bruisers, outcasts, and politicians…
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