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Word to the wise.

THE brain likes exercise, and there are a number of electronic devices on the market now that will exercise a brain to exhaustion.

I'm a skinflint and technophobe, so I look every evening to The Examiner's quick crossword for mental elastication.

I'm a wordsmith by trade and like to think that words are my friends.

I also like to think not many sneak past my comprehension, but one did last night: imbrued.

I knew it, recognised it, but wasn't entirely sure what it meant. The clue was 'drenched'.

So it was an embarrassed shuffle off to the dictionary.

Imbrued (or embrued) is saturated or stained.

Right next to it, to further confuse the issue, is 'imbued', which is to inspire or influence thoroughly, to permeate or pervade.

I'm wondering how long it will be before we see that ominous phrase 'arch', archaic, in tomorrow's dictionaries next to imbrued and imbued.

You just don't hear imbrued or imbued any more in everyday speech, and the argument would be that if you have words like saturate and stain, permeate, pervade and inspire, why would you need 'em? My answer would be you can never have too many ways of expressing yourself.

Indeed, I'll be seeking out an appropriate moment to slip these two beauties into conversation over the next few days.

"My dear, you seem to have imbrued that lettuce with a goodly amount of olive oil.

"I am imbued with an overwhelming sense of your culinary capabilities."

To which the reply will inevitably be: "You're getting no salad tonight, dear. It'll never get past the thesaurus you appear to have swallowed."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2009
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