Friday, January 25, 2008

Like politics and sulfuric acid -- vitriolic


vitriolic (vi-tree-OL-ik) adjective
Extremely caustic; bitterly scathing.
[From Latin vitrum (glass).]
Sulfuric acid, a highly corrosive substance, was formerly known as oil of vitriol or simply vitriol. It was named vitriol owing to the glassy appearance of its salts.

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus.

"Unlike many other districts in Ventura County, Simi Valley has suffered a steady diet of noisy board meetings, vitriolic letters to the editor and name-calling directed at board members."
-- Mack Reed; Simi Schools in Throes of Tumult, Hope; Los Angeles Times; Jun 2, 1996.

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