Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tout

I do not like the word “tout.” Headline writers and journalists are fond of “tout.” According to the Encarta World English Dictionary (2000), it comes “[u]ltimately from a prehistoric Germanic base meaning ‘to poke out, project.’ The original English meaning was ‘to peek,’ which became ‘to spy on’ and, later, ‘to look for business.’” Its original meaning was to spy on racehorses or to sell information about racehorses. Now, however, it denotes to praise somebody or something.

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