Monday, January 19, 2015

Word of the Day: escritoire

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

escritoire [ess-krih-TWAR](noun)[TWITO, page 48]

A writing desk

“...this diverted suspicion into a new channel, and it was suggested that the robbery and the murder had really been committed by common housebreakers. It was then discovered that a large purse of gold, and a diamond cross, which the escritoire contained, were gone.”
--Edward Bulwer Lytton, Devereux (1829)

Perhaps you are seated at an escritoire at this very moment. For myself, I prefer to curl up on the couch (also: sofa; grandma called it a "davenport") with my laptop as I tap my way along the information superhighway to my literary destiny.

Not that I don't have a desk. In fact, I have a few. My favorite is an antique roll-top desk with many shelves and cubby holes and secret compartments. If I had a traditional diary or a controversial will or some terrible secret committed to paper, I suppose that is where you would find it -- if I happened to live in a Victorian novel. As it is, I use my escritoire as a repository for junk mail and miscellaneous missives from official sources: those scraps of paper everyone receives that are almost too dull to peruse but too important to recycle. The phrase "Save for tax purposes" has prevented many a tedious form from being reconstituted as bathroom tissue. Yes, if my roll-top escritoire could talk, it would have many a soporific story to tell.

blue desk

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