We’re starting a new section that’ll explore the byways and gullies of the English language to cull out interesting words, their origins and usage.
Let’s get started with Martinet.
Our Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition) defines Martinet as a strict disciplinarian or a person who stresses a rigid adherence to the details of forms and methods (P.762).
The eponymous word derives from Jean Martinet, a 17th century French army officer (and presumably a hard taskmaster).
Here’s an example:
Contrary to popular perception, I am not the owner of SI; au contraire, I labor for the martinet owner of the blog.Â