Kate Barnes (k8cre8) wrote in 1word1day,
Kate Barnes
k8cre8
1word1day

quisquous

This story was inspired by a good friend of mine, who, is a man who has eclectic tastes and hobbies. 

They called him Mr. Floyd. He was the Mystery Man. The one they called when they didn’t know who else to call. He was the Man of Last Resort. For, you see, he was the man who took care of the most difficult cases, the ones that required a special touch. The touch of Mr.  Floyd, the Man. For when the members of organized crime had a problem they could not solve, one that fell out of the normal range of criminal skill, it was up to Mr. Floyd to set things right.
One such case, the Pauli matter, brought Mr. Floyd into the streets late one night. The Boss had called, and Mr. Floyd walked into the dark, dank alley, flanked by two big thugs. And then it began…
“Pauli,” said the quisquous Mr. Floyd, “Can you explain to me why Wassily Kandinsky left his music to paint?
Why is it you cannot grasp the fundamentals of post-modern abstract expressionism? Can’t you even differentiate between the neo-classical works of Carravagio and the surrealism of Magritte? Or worse, can’t you tell the difference in the comedic evolution of Mystery Science Theater 3000 since Joel Hodgson left Mike Nelson stranded on the Satellite of Love? Do I have to explain everything? Must I expound on the dilemmas of being qua being, or the fundamentals of Existential Thought? Why do I waste my time?…”

For, Mr. Floyd’s job, you see, is to confuse his victims. His talent is especially effective against those with limited education, cultural background and intellectual gifts. He is routinely called upon to deal with officials of the law to obscure mob activities in a flurry of rhetoric. He is called upon to frighten the more intellectually servile of the organization into doing exactly what the Boss wants them to do. Most go back to their work, their efforts redoubled. They promise to never make a mistake again, just as long as they never again must face the frightening, quisquous Mr. Floyd.


quisquous / KWIS – kwus / adj. Latin perplexing, puzzling.

This is a word I first came across in The Superior Person's Book of Words, by Peter Bowler. I've never really seen it in my unabridged Random House Dictionary of the English Language . Mr. Bowler used the Australian edition of Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, and in the American Edition (which I have) he relied on the American Heritage Dictionary. My surmise as to its origin as a Latin immigrant is from a year of high school Latin, and well, the fact that "quis" is Latin for "who," which might fit, or might in itself, be a puzzle. 
Tags: adjective, latin, q, theme: stories
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