On this day in history, in 1870, the First Vatican Council established the dogma of papal infallibility – essentially, the belief that the Pope is never wrong. Now, I certainly don’t want to offend any Catholics (having been one myself once upon a time), but between you and me, I have a chary opinion about infallibility in general. While I’m sure the Pope is a smart man, I don’t believe any human capable of never making a mistake.
Adjective; from Dictionary.com:
1. Cautious or careful; wary
2. Shy or timid
“Now that you’ve settled my daughter back in the bosom of her family, the Admiralty must have need of you again.” A chary glint lit the baron’s eyes. (How to Be a Proper Lady, Katharine Ashe)
Chary – which rhymes with one of its definitions, wary – may be one of the oldest words (in terms of how long it’s been in use) that I’ve ever featured in Word of the Week. With its usage dating back to 1000, chary stems from Middle and Old English words, which themselves are from Old Saxon and Old High German words (carag and charag, respectively, meaning “sorrowful”). Chary shares its etymology with “care,” having some of the same root words.
Your turn, bookworms – what sorts of books might make you chary? I myself have always been wary of self-help books that claim to solve all your problems.
[Photo Credit: Google Images]