Words from Dic(tionary)
Adroit: (adj.) clever or skillful in using the hands or the mind: e.g. he was adroit at tax avoidance.
A time or two I have actually tried to USE the word, but I was never able to get it completely out of my mouth without giggling.
First of all, it’s much easier to say “accomplished,” and also clearer to the listener. But mostly, when I say “adroit” I have to think of a droid. And when I think of a droid, I start conjuring visions of R2D2 or C-3PO.
And then I smile and chortle.
Some words were just never meant to be used. Or maybe they’ve been destroyed by other words that came in and sucked up all the air in the room.
I suppose it would be fun to say that C-3PO was adroit at being a droid. But that’s the kind of pun and cleverness which in our generation makes people groan instead of laugh.
Yes, humor has changed. It has to be brazen and perhaps even a little risqué nowadays to get an exuberant response from an audience. A simple play on words leaves people thinking that you’re old-fashioned or kind of silly.
But anyway, back to “adroit”–I have to conclude that it’s one of those words which if I used, everybody in the room would get that “W-h-a-a-t??” face and then become annoyed that I was trying to be overly smart instead of communicating coolly.
And then, like me, they would probably pull up the idea of a droid instead, which might take them to Aliens, where the monsters had acid for blood and the artificial life form was possessed by one of the villains.
See? It just makes me digress.
So I shall stay away from “adroit” because of its pretentious sound and reference to robots.
I hope the word will not feel shunned.
Even though, if you think about it, “adroit” and “shunned” are very similar in their practical use.