“Avoid the righteous”


So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
John 8:7

Deplore cast stones? Sinner, avoid the righteous;
Likely they are spoiling for a fight. Just
Follow Jesus’ counsel: in a throng, us
Common folk are safer with the wrongeous.


This bit of doggerel was inspired by an aside in James Harbeck’s lively Sesquiotica post on the diverse origins of the words mosaic and Mosaic:

That’s what our language is like, really. Not really immutable laws handed down by divine providence so that we can say who’s in the group and who’s out, who’s righteous and who’s wrongeous.

Turns out wrongeous is a real word, an alternate form of wrongous, which sounds very lawyerly and which I would, left to my own devices, very likely only ever have applied to deeds (or, as a lawyer might say, “acts”), not people. But then, if I were writing, I would doubtless have corrected it later on, and put down “wrongful” instead, and deprived the world of the richness of the word. Which would (I now see) have been a grievously wrongeous act.

Image: Rock Fish by Flickr user Dawn Endico, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

1 thought on ““Avoid the righteous”

  1. Pingback: righteous, wrongeous | Sesquiotica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s