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I am now into double digits for e-mails asking me if “preposterentsia” is my
own coinage. I wish. I spotted it in an article by British political
commentator Edward Pearce, about 20 years ago, in (I am pretty sure) the old
Encounter magazine, and have been making occasional use of it since. I
have, I believe, inspired by “preposterentsia,” applied the “-entsia” suffix
to other words, e.g. “obstreperentsia,” but I can’t find any record of these
usages. It is possible Pearce coined “preposterentsia” himself–he had (and
perhaps still has: I haven’t read anything of his for a while) a very
original and quirky style. On the other hand, he may have borrowed it from
somewhere else, I don’t know. Google is no help: all you get is my own
12/18/00 NRODT piece, from which I lifted today’s quote.


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