Futile — ‘leaking to uselessness’

June 15th   2019
___ Futile may be a passionate descriptor to express disappointment per an action, an effort, or a person.

World English Dictionary defines “futile” as:
1. having no effective result; unsuccessful
2. pointless; unimportant; trifling

3. inane or foolish

Via the first two definitions, futile represents an exertion of energy, or effort to no avail. It suggests an exhaustion or disappointment, or even pain from the lack of results.

Excelling in your tasks, for example, to prove to your boss that you merit a promotion may result a futile effort if he simply does not notice nor care.  That could take the wind out of your sails. Attempts to reconcile a love relationship may seem futile. Ouch!

The third definition could describe a person who causes exhaustion, disappointment or pain. When trying to reason with a relative over a family dispute and they are only obnoxious in response, you might say, “Don’t be so futile!”

The ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY lists that futile originates from
“Middle French futile, from Latin futilis ‘vain, worthless, futile,’ literally ‘pouring out easily’ (of a vessel), hence ‘easily emptied, leaky, unreliable …'”

So, no matter how large the effort, it will all leak out to uselessness, if the attempt is futile. And a person who is futile will not imbibe your efforts to reason, yet will pour them out.

Have you experienced something futile in your life?

__________

This Jacquée T. Writer in Residence featured Word is brought to you by supporting sponsors including the Jayhawk Corner Café in downtown Topeka Kansas.

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