The Etymology of Ignorance

The last time my vocabulary had any significance in my life was in 2000 when I took the SATs. Six years later and with no ambitions for graduate school, it’s a wonder that I still know the definition of any multi-syllabic word. Though it’s not of any real benefit to me, I’m still want to finish a Monday crossword and seem smart to friends, so I’m always trying to expand my vocabulary. And one day, I hope to remember what jejune means.

After looking it up, I can tell you that jejune means lacking nutritive value; devoid of significance or interest. And yet, two days from now, the definition will have fallen out of my head like so much earwax.

Why can’t I remember what this word means? I blame Woody Allen.

I first heard the word jejune in this bit of dialogue from “Love and Death:”

Sonja (Diane Keaton): That is incredibly jejune.
Boris (Woody Allen): That’s jejune?
Sonja: Jejune!
Boris: You have the temerity to say that I’m talking to you out of jejunosity? I am one of the most june people in all of the Russia.

If you didn’t know what jejune meant, would that dialogue have helped you figure out its definition? In my case, not so much. And P.S. June is a month, not the opposite of jejune. So since my first experience with jejune was befuddlement, I’m always confused when I hear it. Jejune or not, I have no idea what that word means.