True fact: one of my favorite historical time periods is Tudor England, and the whole War of the Roses. On March 4, 1461, Henry VI was deposed and Edward IV became king. Lancastrian Henry was a bit crazy, which made it easier Yorkist Edward to take over, but even his hold on the throne was tenuous. He would eventually be killed in battle, with his brother Richard III taking control. Thanks to Shakespeare, we all know how that turned out.
Adjective; from Dictionary.com:
1. Lacking a sound basis; weak
2. Of slight importance or significance; unsubstantial
“It tore up the very tenuous peace between the four of us. But the only thing I felt at the time was this huge, overwhelming relief that it wasn’t me who got suspended.” (Once in a Lifetime, Jill Shalvis)
Another adjective, another word with Latin roots. I swear, I don’t deliberately set out to find these words. Anyway, tenuous comes the Latin word tenuis, which literally translates to “thin, meager or slim,” but also figuratively means “trifling” or “insignificant.” Interestingly, there’s also a Sanskrit word that also has a similar root meaning, though tenuous is definitely from the Latin, with its first modern usage dating to the early 1800′s, while tenuous‘ first recorded usage dates back even further, to the 1590′s.
Your turn, bookworms – is there a particular book with a tenuous hold on your affections? I have tried and tried, but I just can’t make myself like The Great Gatsby any more than I do, which is not much.
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