Put-Down Nouns
Copyright 2005 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.
lacking both originality and taste
obvious and dull
stereotyped through frequent repetition
so widely known as to be ignored
overused and thus cheapened
dismissed despite its air of significance
so self-evident as scarcely to need stating
ou might best apply the terms in the puzzle as discriminants for assessing your own writing and speaking.  That's what I do.  Then too, there are distinctive put-down adjectives which dismissive people find handy.  You probably don't use them yourself.  I sure don't...
  • trivial refers principally to things that have little importance or significance in themselves or that require no intellectual depth on the part of persons concerned with them.
  • trifling describes things so unimportant or so small in size or value as to be scarcely worth notice.
  • paltry describes things, especially sums of money, whose size or value arouses contempt; thus the term implies marked insufficiency in relation to what is required or desired.
  • petty can refer to insignificant things or to persons who have subordinate rank or who are small minded or mean.
  • picayune describes things of little significance or value, in the sense of paltriness; or it can apply figuratively to persons totally lacking in stature, capacity, breadth or outlook, or fineness of temperament (more).
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
Houghton Mifflin Company


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