The editorial writers of The Wall Street Journal would make Bill Buckley proud, given the frequency in which they use words that are unfamiliar to many of us, thus providing the opportunity to strengthen our vocabulary. A weekend issue from last October was no exception.
In their “Killing Awlaki” piece, they mentioned how “The caviling over Awlaki’s death began almost the moment the news was announced.” This required me to turn to my trusty source for word meanings, dictionary.com, where I discovered that “cavil” means “to raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault with unnecessarily.” Perhaps you were already familiar with this word; I was not (or if I was, I long ago forgot it; a “senior moment” perhaps).
Well, as one who has, on occasion, voiced opinions about such things as the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS(R)), I would hope that my comments have not been likened to caviling. And while some may be irritated by some of the points I have raised, I don’t believe they have been trivial. Irritation, if there has been any, might stem from uninvited or unwelcome questioning, which I imagine can become tedious at times. But if we want our rules to be as good and valuable as possible, comments and challenges should be welcome, yes? I believe with confidence that for the most part, those who oversee the Standards are open to such comments. But if I ever do cavil, I hope someone will let me know!