Pop Quiz, Hot Shot

Level 1: Desuetude. Do you know what this means?

Level 2: I’ll give it to you in a sentence. “Whereas the degree in sociology and political economy that Pnin had obtained with some pomp at the University of Prague around 1925 had become by mid century a doctorate in desuetude, he was not altogether miscast as a teacher of Russian.” (Pnin, Vladimir Nabokov)

Still don’t know?

Level 3: desuetude \DES-wih-tood, -tyood\, noun:
The cessation of use; discontinuance of practice or custom; disuse.
(From Dictionary.com)

Okay, be honest. Am I just stupid, or is that word unfamiliar to most of you as well?

It doesn’t really matter what the answer is, I was just curious. Nabokov can make me feel stupid all he wants, and I’ll still be his bitch 4eva.


  1. Mich, you will *never* be Nabokov’s bitch if you write 4eva. Almost choked on my chewing-gum.

    I think I might be just cross as I didn’t know what desuetude meant either… :-)

  2. Er, Mark, the use of “4eva” (delicate shudder) was intended to illustrate that very point.

Comments are closed.