Don’t Divagate or Be Discursive!

Today, I thought that I would do something a little different. I’m going to spotlight words that begin with the letter “d.” D is a nice letter of the alphabet. Nice and solid.

The first word is dubious. Dubious (doo-bee-uhs) is an adjective that means doubtful, undecided, or of uncertain outcome. If your business partner suggests that you merge with another company and you do not believe that it would be beneficial, you are dubious about the merger. If an election race is very close, the outcome could be dubious. People are dubious as to whom the winner might be.

Dubious also means wavering or hesitating in opinion or being inclined to doubt. Parents could be dubious about activities that their children want to participate in. Employers may be dubious about changing business processes. Some people are dubious about their ability to learn a foreign language, to play an instrument, or to learn to draw. Dubious. Doubtful or hesitant.

The second word is discursive. Discursive (di-skur-siv) is an adjective that means rambling, moving from subject to subject without order. Sometimes teachers ramble as they lecture to a class. Politicians sometimes like to ramble when they are in less formal situations such as meeting with local constituents. Old people often ramble when carrying on a conversation. The people in these situations are being discursive. Their conversation or speech rambles from topic to topic without any logical flow. It is interesting to note that discursive comes from a Latin word that means “a running about.” I guess you could say when people are discursive they are verbally running about from topic to topic and not progressing logically in what they say.

Divagate is a word that is similar to discursive. (Pay close attention to how this word is pronounced. You might want to pronounce the first syllable with a short ‘i’ sound. Instead it should have a long ‘a’ sound.) Divagate (dahy-vuh-geyt) is a verb that means to ramble or to digress in speech, to wander or stray off the topic. Sometime people will divagate when telling a story or an experience they had – they change often from the main subject of what they were saying to a different topic.

Sometimes when people get in an argument they divagate from what first caused the argument to something totally different. An example of this would be when a husband complains that he doesn’t like what his wife fixed for supper. The wife gets upsets and they get into an argument and the argument ends up with the husband complaining about his mother-in-law! That would be divagating from the subject of disliking the meal to the subject of disliking the mother-in-law!

Divigate – to ramble or digress. Discursive – to ramble, and move from subject to subject without order. Dubious – doubtful and undecided.

I hope my discursive blog isn’t discouraging!


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