THE BASIS POINT

Panjandrum: Dictionary.com’s Well-Chosen Word of The Day

The folks at Dictionary.com aren’t always topical on their word of the day choices, and I’m not even sure that’s their goal, but they certainly nailed it today with the word panjandrum. It means an important personage or pretentious official, and today was jam packed with panjandrums. In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to read my word of the day email (yes, I’m old school, I still receive email) until tonight because I was immediately sucked into Tim Geithner defending AIG’s bailout to a congressional mob. His Treasury predecessor Hank Paulson was next, then the Fed’s FOMC rate decision was announced, then Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, then global bigwigs started pontificating to reporters from the World Economic Forum in Davos, and now Obama’s state of the union speech.

It was quite the day of panjandrums that meet both definitions of the word, and my hat is off to the (good version of) panjandrums from Dictionary.com for offering today’s word with perfect context.