Talk:insipid

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# Utterly lacking in [[intelligent|intelligence]] or [[depth]]; [[fool]]ish.
#: ''They insisted upon watching an '''insipid''' show about a singing monkey.''

insipid[edit]

Sense 1 - utterly lacking in intelligence or depth; foolish. Not a sense I know, and I cannot find it in dictionaries of contemporary English. OED lists it as obsolete. -- WikiPedant 02:33, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Huh. That is the only sense I've ever been aware of, though on examining many quotes, the second sense is clearl meant in many of them. The problem I'm finding is that it often isn't possible to tell from context which of these two senses was meant. Here is one that means "foolish", rather than "lacking in character":
  • 1926 - H. P. Lovecraft, Cats and Dogs
    This heritage, ironically foisted on us when Roman politics raised the faith of a whipped and broken people to supremacy in the later empire, has naturally kept a strong hold over the weak and sentimentally thoughtless; and perhaps reached its culmination in the insipid nineteenth century, when people were wont to praise dogs "because they are so human" (as if humanity were any valid standard of merit!), and honest Edwin Landseer painted hundreds of smug Fidoes and Carlos and Rovers with all the anthropoid triviality, pettiness, and "cuteness" of eminent Victorians.
--EncycloPetey 06:15, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Petey, even that quotation strikes me as probably invoking the sense 2, which is articulated at greater length in the Random House Dictionary: "without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid." -- WikiPedant 06:34, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Not if you read the entire essay. Lovecraft is railing against dogs and people's fondness for them; he was a cat person. --EncycloPetey 06:48, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
MW3 provides 3 senses: in summary paraphrase, 1., flavorless, 2., dull, 3., cloyngly sweet. Of these, the third sense seems most consistent with the Lovecraft quote. It also seems a closer fit than the RfVd sense. Least important, the RfVd senses disagrees with my understanding of the word. MW3 also includes insipient, which they say is archaic, as meaning "foolish" or "stupid". DCDuring 11:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I would agree, but that sense wasn't in the entry at all! Obviously, the entry needs more than just verification, we may need a complete rewrite of the definitions from the ground up. --EncycloPetey 14:20, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Not quite from the ground up, but rewritten with 3 senses + kept RfVd sense; made other small changes.


cloingly sweet?[edit]

  1. Cloyingly sweet or sentimental.
    Greeting cards contain some of the the most insipid words ever written.

I've never seen this sense, and this usage sample very easily falls into the previously listed sense (Flat; lacking character or definition.) 76.10.162.226 13:08, 25 September 2010 (UTC)