Ben Elton taught me “prevaricate”. Oh yes. Using it in conversation that one time was brilliant.
It went something like this (though not exactly like this, as Peter Tork would hope):
I was with Chris and Jack, yay, and their videographer. Before the show. The air conditioner was brought up. The night before, during commercial, Ellie said she knew how to get it to stop rattling. I asked her about it the next day, she said that she knew a guy who could come and fix it, that she’d look into it (which, by now we all know, means it will never get done).
So Chris and Jack said, “Ellie said she could fix it?”
I said, “She lied. Well no. she didn’t lie, she…” I looked for the right word and beautifully it came into my head. “She prevaricated.”
“She did! Oh, that’s so exciting, I just learned that word the other day and I got to use it, correctly at that!” They laughed and agreed on the coolness.