Monthly Archives: May 2020

Quintessence (noun)


  1. the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies
  2. the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form
  3. the most typical example or representative

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 6 May 2020)

Use it in a sentence

The rotting banana reeked of sweet sweat and congealed blood. Not that she knew what that smelt like. The banana only resembled that fruit – blackened and squashed, covered in a spattering of ecstatic flies. ‘Blurgh,’ she thought. It was the quintessence of decay, of rot. She peered a little closer and gave it a gentle shove with her shoe. The flies reeled back, disturbed, but quickly settled down again. How did so many of them get into the house?

That cretin of an ex-boyfriend left this mess right in the middle of their kitchen – squashed it right into the floorboards with the heel of his boot, knowing she was going away for two weeks. She broke up with him the night before, thinking it was for the best – a civil, clean break, and forced separation. But he left this calling card, cleared out his stuff (and some of hers), and left the key on the table (at least that). Her eyes narrowed, and she brushed the hair off the back of her neck, her skin crawling.

He knew bananas made her gag.     

Gratuitous (adjective)


1. not called for by the circumstances: not necessary, appropriate, or justified: unwarranted

2a. given unearned or without recompense

2b. costing nothing: free

2c. law: not involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 2 May 2020)Top of Form

Use it in a sentence

“So, erm… thank you for having… seeing me. I really appreciate your time. Of course, you know I have an engineering degree – with Honours – and even though I haven’t been employed as an engineer per se, I have done some engineering. That sounds wrong. I mean, I’ve led some engineering projects and just last year, my friends and I made this great… erm… actually, you don’t need to hear about that. Anyway, I didn’t really want to be an engineer. Not at first. I’ve always wanted to be a painter to be perfectly honest. That may sound like a totally different career, but there’s a lot of creativity in both – creativity with order. I’m keen on abstracts, you know like Picasso. Anyway, my parents made me pick engineering – I had the points for it – and it kinda grew on me and here I am.”

“Thank you, Sarah.” Ms Schlegel pursed her lips, leaned forward a little and narrowed her eyes. “That’s all very Interesting, but also, I would say, rather gratuitous. Now, please just answer the questions the panel poses – briefly.”

Blood coloured Sarah’s cheeks before just as quickly draining away. She nodded, “Yep. Yes. Of course. Thank you.”