A word with echoes of vicious and a sound of slicing across the middle. The taste of evil in front helps set the tone; there is a suggestion of vice in the core, and there may even be a hint of rape at the end. Ask your ears: is the instrument used for the action serrated? The v looks like a knife edge… or its results. Ask your eyes: are its results viscous? They could be, a little, literally, given that the e is Latin “out” (remember e pluribus unum?) and viscera are guts. But this word is not so often used literally these days. More often it’s talking about the effects of some legislation, or effects on some legislation, or an author’s complaint about an edit, or a lambasting that might be better called excoriation than evisceration, or some act that would be better termed eradicate or undermine or emasculate or enervate or hamstring or decimate or… One worries that too-broad usage might etiolate this word’s sense. Which is not to say eviscerate it.
Get a premium subscriptionSupport Sesquiotica with a paid subscription and get extra premium content and goodies. Starts as low as $1 a month! Find out more and subscribe on Patreon.com
I am for hireI earn my living as an independent editor, writer, and educator. Find out more and contact me at jamesharbeck.com.
Buy the T-shirt (or coffee mug or hip flask)
Wear it proudly:
I operate on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis. I need to know EVERYTHING.
Buy it at cafepress.ca/sesquiphernalia
Buy my books
Word Tasting Notes Google groupGet just the word tasting notes daily by email – join the Google Word Tasting Notes group.