Pertinaciously Yours

I’m working on a novella for Their Graces, Percival and Esther, the Duke and Duchess of Moreland (aka Mama and Papa to certain Windhams). At one point, Percival Windham turns to the prim young Esther Himmelfarb and says,

“You are an impertinent woman. I adore impertinent women.”

Esther’s response: “I suppose this somehow makes you a pertinent man?”

 I’m not sure that snippet of dialogue will make it into the final version of the story, but when I saw the word pertinacious go by, I had to look it up. OED tells us that it’s an old word, dating from the late 1500s, and meaning….

 1. Of a state or things: persistent, continuing, especially of a disease, resistant to treatment,

And

  1. Insistent or stubborn in holding to one’s own opinion, resolute, obstinate, usu. as a negative quality.

Isn’t that a cool word? The next time somebody’s being utterly close-minded, accuse them of being ridiculously pertinacious and you at least stand a chance of changing the topic to obscure vocabulary (even if you can’t win the argument).

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