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"Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: July 14, 2006 12:40AM

Can someone please explain to me what "pithy" means and what does the phrase specifically refer to?


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: July 14, 2006 01:26AM

Talia, pithy is generally a synonym for "concise" usually referring to "substance" within a written work, or essay. In slang terms a rough comparison might be made to the term "meaty" when it refers to depth of thought, or a well substantiated argument.

[www.onelook.com] [www.bartleby.com] [www.allwords.com] />
e.g.: The lawyer authored a pithy presentation intended to sway the jury.

e.g.: The student's essay was full of generalizations and lacked a pithy thesis.


Les

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/15/2006 03:52AM by lg.


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: July 14, 2006 12:16PM

Pith being he choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience.



Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: July 14, 2006 02:42PM

I'm not sure Johnny, but my guess is that it has the same root as "pit", as in olive pit, or cherry pit.

Les


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: July 14, 2006 04:29PM

same root yes, but was two separate words as far back as old english


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: July 15, 2006 01:05AM

Thank you.


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Elliot (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 29, 2006 07:18PM

Talia, dawwling....

It was a pithy question.

E.


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 31, 2006 04:37AM

Pith is also the botanical term for the soft centre of plants eg in reeds - the stuff you remove to make a whistle, similar soft material, like the white lining under orange peel and also the spinal cord (or marrow) - hence pith's more general meaning of 'essence'. Pith helmets used to be made of a pith-like soft wood, as did floats and canoes.


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 31, 2006 09:58AM

I never took to time to think through where Pith Helmets got the name.

Makes sense now !

Not like they were taking a pith in them or anything


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 12, 2006 05:17PM

And then there's "pithing a frog", when you mash its brain with a needle ready for dissecting.


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 13, 2006 12:09AM

Linda, I'm surprised that definition does not appear in more of the dictionaries I found online as it does here:

[machaut.uchicago.edu] />

Les


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 15, 2006 07:49PM

COD and Chambers both include it.

pith // n. & v.
n.
1 spongy white tissue lining the rind of an orange, lemon, etc.
2 the essential part; the quintessence (came to the pith of his argument).
3 Bot. the spongy cellular tissue in the stems and branches of dicotyledonous plants.
4 a physical strength; vigour. b force; energy.
5 archaic spinal marrow.
v.tr.
1 remove the pith or marrow from.
2 slaughter or immobilize (an animal) by severing the spinal cord.
pithless adj.
[Old English pitha, from West Germanic]

COD


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 15, 2006 10:40PM

Linda, I'm sure the reason so many online dictionaries do NOT have the definition you provided above is that I typed in "pithy" as the key word and not "pith", see the examples here: [www.onelook.com] />
Les


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: ink ghost (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 06, 2006 05:50PM

Just wondering, why did you made "Keep it pithy" the title of your post?


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 07, 2006 01:48PM


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 07, 2006 02:36PM

Oh ok...I avoid him whenever possible


Re: "Keep it pithy"
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 11, 2006 04:55PM

He is doing a good job at spreading the phrase. I want one of those t-shirts.




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