02 February 2009


Desultory: this is me. All over the place. "Flighty" is a good synonym. This is a word that I didn't really have in my vocabulary. I knew it was there, but to produce an exact meaning would have been difficult.

Much of my life has been desultory. I have flitted from one pursuit to another. Fortunately I've been able to stay married and make (sort of) a living throughout. While earning our daily bread I've pursued avocations such as ham radio, old-time fiddling, bicycling, a few attempts at novel-writing, and lately, poetry.

Aimless. Without a plan. Oh yeah.


Desultory Des"ul*to*ry, a. [L. desultorius, fr. desultor a
leaper, fr. desilire, desultum, to leap down; de + salire to
leap. See Saltation.]
1. Leaping or skipping about. [Obs.]
[1913 Webster]

I shot at it [a bird], but it was so desultory that
I missed my aim. --Gilbert
[1913 Webster]

2. Jumping, or passing, from one thing or subject to another,
without order or rational connection; without logical
sequence; disconnected; immethodical; aimless; as,
desultory minds. --Atterbury.
[1913 Webster]

He [Goldsmith] knew nothing accurately; his reading
had been desultory. --Macaulay.
[1913 Webster]

3. Out of course; by the way; as a digression; not connected
with the subject; as, a desultory remark.

Syn: Rambling; roving; immethodical; discursive; inconstant;
unsettled; cursory; slight; hasty; loose.
[1913 Webster]

-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

adj : marked by lack of definite plan or regularity or purpose;
jumping from one thing to another; "desultory
thoughts"; "the desultory conversation characteristic
of cocktail parties"

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

211 Moby Thesaurus words for "desultory":
aberrant, aberrative, adrift, afloat, aimless, alternating,
amorphous, broken, by the way, capricious, careening, casual,
catchy, changeable, changeful, chaotic, choppy, circuitous,
dancing, dangerous, departing, designless, deviable, deviant,
deviating, deviative, deviatory, devious, digressive,
disarticulated, disconnected, discontinuous, discursive, disjunct,
disordered, disorderly, disorganized, dispersed, disproportionate,
dizzy, eccentric, episodic, errant, erratic, excursive,
fast and loose, fickle, fitful, flickering, flickery, flicky,
flighty, flitting, fluctuating, fluttering, fluttery, formless,
freakish, frivolous, giddy, gratuitous, guttering, halting,
haphazard, hazardous, herky-jerky, heteroclite, hit-or-miss,
immethodical, impetuous, impulsive, inchoate, incoherent,
inconsistent, inconstant, indecisive, indirect, indiscriminate,
infirm, insecure, insubstantial, intermittent, intermitting,
irregular, irresolute, irresponsible, jerky, labyrinthine, loose,
lurching, maundering, mazy, meandering, meaningless, mercurial,
misshapen, moody, nonsymmetrical, nonsystematic, nonuniform,
on-again-off-again, orderless, out-of-the-way, patchy, perilous,
planetary, planless, precarious, promiscuous, provisional,
purposeless, rambling, random, restless, risky, rough, roving,
scatterbrained, scrappy, senseless, serpentine, shaky, shapeless,
shifting, shifty, shuffling, slippery, snaky, snatchy, spasmatic,
spasmic, spasmodic, spastic, spineless, spluttering, sporadic,
spotty, sputtering, sputtery, staggering, straggling, straggly,
stray, swerving, systemless, temporary, tentative, ticklish,
treacherous, turning, twisting, unaccountable, unarranged,
uncertain, unclassified, unconsidered, uncontrolled, undependable,
undirected, undisciplined, unequal, uneven, unfaithworthy, unfixed,
ungraded, unjoined, unmethodical, unmetrical, unordered,
unorganized, unplanned, unpredictable, unregular, unreliable,
unrestrained, unrhythmical, unsettled, unsolid, unsorted, unsound,
unstable, unstable as water, unstaid, unsteadfast, unsteady,
unsubstantial, unsure, unsymmetrical, unsystematic, untrustworthy,
ununiform, vacillating, vagrant, vague, variable, veering,
vicissitudinary, vicissitudinous, volatile, wandering, wanton,
wavering, wavery, wavy, wayward, whimsical, winding, wishy-washy,
wobbling, wobbly, zigzag

-- From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0

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