Word of the Month: Inutile

David Zapatka

Reader Carmela Hopkins writes, “Dear Mr. Zapatka, every month I look for your column in the Splash. Last month’s article particularly grabbed my attention because you mentioned Richard Lederer, whom I read monthly in the Mensa Bulletin. Have you considered an article on the word ‘run?’ It seems like such an obviously simple word, but according to my weight-lifter’s dictionary, it has myriad meanings. Think about these… Keep up the good work. You’re on a run. I mean roll. P.S. Kim Park noted an extraordinary eggcorn this month. Looking forward to more word talk!”

Reader Greg W. writes, “Just read your latest. Always fun to learn. Gotta learn something every day or you ain’t looking hard enough. I now know what eggcorn is! Very sorry to hear that ESPN pulled Adler from tennis broadcasting without, apparently, giving him a chance to explain. Keep up the good work.”

Inutile adjective in·utile | in-ˈyü-tᵊl: Pointless; of no use or service; not worth using; unprofitable

Origin and Etymology—Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin inutilis, from in- + utilis useful

First Used—15th Century

Inutile used in a sentence:

The government body has lost its voice and become inutile.

This is alarming by not reserving any generating capacity to government, the result is to render the government inutile in regulating electricity generation, promoting competition and discouraging cartels.

Mr. Huzar argued that a technical problem as this, caused by wear and tear, is an event which is inherent in the normal running of an airline and whether it is unexpected is inutile.

But this is the first he has ever fashioned on a pier, where a formerly inutile expanse is becoming recreation central.

Great efforts in that regard have been exerted by official bodies and civil society organizations, which have yielded understanding of the psychological and health risks and influencing public opinion on the harmful consequences and the inutility of the practice.

Inutile in media:

The argument goes that depriving the unvaccinated of their rights is not discriminatory but merely done because “it’s for their protection” is simply inutile—“Discriminating against the unvaccinated is illegal and wrong” BusinessWorld, Jan. 6, 2022

It is true that it would have been inutile, for no incident occurred to put the colonists to any painful trial—The Secret of the Island, W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)

As Christy’s plan was not in order, would be inutile, the business of the visitors at the islands was finished—Fighting for the Right, Oliver Optic

The tribe were about to cook poor little Verva because her mother was dead, and she seemed a bouche inutileIn the Wrong Paradise, Andrew Lang

But what is so pathetic is the government’s reaction and its inutile way of handling them—CDN, Sept. 16, 2014

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