Meaning: always determined and energetic in trying to achieve something and never willing to admit defeat
Etymology: early 17th century: from French, or from Latin indefatigabilis
Pronunciation: in-di-fat-i-guh-buh l
Usage in a sentence: “Our History professor is indefatigable.”
This word isn’t weird. But the first time I used it in life, has a very weird story attached to it. Grab your tubs of popcorn. A caramel flavoured popcorn for Fabulus, and a Cheese flavoured one for me.
When I was in ninth grade, I had been asked to write a Prayer Service script for Teacher’s Day. I diligently wrote it down, asking the heavens to shower their blessings on our dearest teachers. There were many small prayers, and they would be assigned to different students to read at the School Assembly. In one of these small prayers, I had written the word ‘undefatigable’.
After finishing the first draft of the prayer, I quickly wrote it down neatly on a new sheet. Teachers are sticklers for neatness and cleanliness, and my handwriting wasn’t the epitome of beauty. I had been instructed to give it to my English teacher for corrections and editing, and then go back to attend class. I polished off a few grammatical errors, and corrected some spelling mistakes. I then went to the staff room, submitted the sheet to my teacher, and left.
I walked to my classroom, and settled down quickly, as the lecture was about to start. (“I can’t believe she actually wrote ‘settled down’ and not ‘sat down’. I guess she’s too nostalgic about school right now.” ~ Fab) I pulled out my History textbook from my bag, and began to read it. That was me in ninth grade, reading, and absorbing as much knowledge as I could.
Suddenly, I felt a little ping of alarm. A weird feeling that I had done something wrong. I kept pondering over it, scrunching up my eyebrows, wondering whether I had forgotten to do something. Maybe I had forgotten to carry the textbook for the next lecture?
I opened my bag to check whether I had my Math textbook, and saw my dictionary sneaking a peek at me. I felt the urge to open it, just to check out the etymology of the word ‘undefatigable’, because I had used it for the first time in my life that day.
Lo! I couldn’t find it in the Dictionary! I remember saying this to myself, “Was it a complete disaster? Me trying to show off my spelling skills with the English teacher?” I quickly ran to the ‘I’ section in the dictionary, and right enough, found ‘indefatigable’ there.
The next scene was quite hilarious. I ran out off the class, without asking for permission from the Class Monitor (hell, I was the Yellow House Assistant Captain. I could do whatever I wanted). I had short hair at that time, and I just wore a hairband to keep it in place. Unfortunately, the hair band couldn’t control the freedom I had given to my hair as I ran like a maniac. My prefect’s scarf had twisted and turned over to the wrong side. I was lucky I still had my specs on.
I reached the staff room, The first words I yelled out when I saw my English teacher were, “It’s indefatigable, not un.” She looked at me quizzically, thinking that I had completely lost my mind. I looked back at her, wondering if she hadn’t heard me correctly. So I repeated, “That word. I wrote ‘undefatigable’. It’s ‘indefatigable’.” It took her a few seconds more to connect my face with the student who gave her that prayer service sheet. She dug around her books and found the paper. It then struck me that all this drama was unnecessary. My teacher had been busy with some other work, and she hadn’t opened my sheet. She hadn’t noticed the error. I didn’t know what to do, how to slink back into the safe confines of my classroom. So I slithered away, muttering something about a lecture, and teachers, and half-walked-half-ran back to my class.
But the bright side is, I didn’t have to bear the humiliation of getting a spelling corrected to me by someone else. Getting a spelling wrong wouldn’t mean much to anyone else. But for me, it was the difference between Heaven and Hell. And still is.
Weird stories apart, who’s that indefatigable person in your life? Someone who doesn’t tire of attaining perfection in whatever they do, just because they can’t bear being slobs? Or who’s that person who does everything, and never shows any outward signs of exhaustion? Share this post with them, and tell them that you appreciate what they do for you 🙂
Information sourced at Cambridge Dictionaries Online