“So, are you an impetuous person?”, asked the boss.
'Impetuous? What on earth is impetuous?' she thought. 'Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be impetuous?' She had to answer quickly. She, who prided in her knowledge of English even though it was not her mother tongue, had majored in English literature and come to England on a scholarship, then met and married an Englishman, was now left wondering what it meant to be impetuous.
'Could it mean being impish? Or perhaps impressionable? No, it cannot be an ‘imp’ word' she reasoned. 'Something else, like say, ‘organised, efficient’ or even ‘meticulous’. Yes, impetuous meant being thorough and leaving nothing to chance, she concluded.
“Yes, Mr. Draper. You could say I am an impetuous person”, she replied.
Later that evening, she checked her well-worn copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and realised that she was not.