Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 29, 2020 is:
pejorative • pih-JOR-uh-tiv • adjective
The captain has come under fire for making pejorative remarks about teammates.
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. When I mention manipulation, this is not necessarily pejorative; it’s a very common and fairly benign tactic.” — Simon Sinek, Start with Why, 2009
Did you know?
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Parents have given that good advice for years, but unfortunately many people haven’t heeded it. The word pejorative makes it clear that both English and Latin speakers have long known that disparaging words can make a bad situation worse. Pejorative derives from the Late Latin adjective pējōrātus, which in turn comes from the Latin verb pējōrāre, meaning “to make or become worse.” Although pejorative words have probably always been part of English, the adjective pejorative has only been found in English texts since the late 1880s. Before then, English speakers could rely on older synonyms of pejorative such as derogatory and uncomplimentary to describe disparaging words.