Word of the Day – Martinet

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. 

3 Responses to "Word of the Day – Martinet"

  1. What_if   March 28, 2009 at 6:12 am

    All the Ashas, Stithas and other inquisitive minds would have been laid to rest, had the above example been slightly elaborated and read as:

    After doing the dishes, arranging them neatly in the kitchen cupboard, washing the clothes and drying them on the line in immaculate order, to get a reprieve from my martinet Indian wife Rekha, I sit down to write a blog, alas, (Contrary to popular perception, I am not the owner of SI) she happens to be my boss even there. Sob, sob, sob… that should explain my outpourings on all things Indian and more.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Funny. 🙂

    But it can’t be true, can it?

  2. I. M. Legend   March 28, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Are handcuffs and whips involved?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Just the cat o’ nine tails.

  3. What_if   March 30, 2009 at 8:03 am

    @SI:But it can’t be true, can it?

    Only Rekha (Inc.I mean) can solve the mystery.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Elementary, my dear Watson. We’re Ahhnauld’s younger cybergorg sibling.

    (BTW, Elementary, my dear was never there in the Sherlock Holmes books…only in the movies)

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