“Wiktionary . . .
n. countable, dated A well-dressed man
n. countable A bonus or other remuneration, . . . .
n. countable, colloquial, Jamaica a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette; a joint . . .
v. to reward (a salesperson) with a spiff.”
Although some, seeking pomposity, substitute fortuitous for fortunate, the words are not synonymous. Fortunate means “lucky.” Fortuitous means “by chance,” “by accident.” Something that is fortuitous can also be fortunate, but unless it happened by chance, fortunate is the correct word.
– Rene J. Cappon, The Associated Press Guide to Writing, Peterson’s, 2000
That’s the usage problem to which the AHD entries refer. Until recently, “fortuitous” meant “accidental”, not “lucky”. (See the CDC definition.) In the twentieth century some English speakers began to conflate fortuitous with fortunate and using it to mean (as you say) serendipitous. Some audiences regard this usage as confused or pompous, and a good dictionary won’t include it without a warning.
I stumbled across a video of David Wolman promoting his book Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling at Google (from March 26, 2009): “Righting the Mother Tongue tells the cockamamie story of English spelling. When did ghost acquire its silent 'h'? Will cyberspace kill the one in rhubarb? And was it really rocket scientists who invented spell-check?”
I don’t know if the book is any good, but I think it likely someone here will enjoy the talk.
I learned this morning that my employer has a new service which is spelled with a lowercase first letter, two medial capitals, and an inexplicable exclamation mark, like so: "xyXxxXxxlxk!",* even if it appears in the middle of a sentence. (I don't know what it looks like at the beginning of a sentence; I doubt anyone who works here is brave enough to try it.)
* That's not the real name, but the pattern of risers and descenders is approximately right.
“Your grandfather would as soon have spit In his wife’s best bonnet as in that galluptiouscuspadore, and your grandmother would have got a glass case made for that coal vase and kept It on exhibition in the best parlor.”
The phrase galluptious cuspadore in which it appears† is causing me to swoon. As far as I can tell it hasn't been repeated in the century-and-a-third since.‡ Someone please use this phrase as a name for your book or your band or your child§ immediately. Thank you.
* The spelling “goluptious” is more common, with “about 848 results”, as opposed to 143 for “galluptious”.
† And on April 1st, no less.
‡ At this time, the phrase is a bona fide Googlewhack, although of course that will no longer be true soon after I post this.
§ Or, I suppose, your spittoon.
It’s a right (closing) single-quote (used, as hernesheir said, as an apostrophe) encoded in UTF-8 and subsequently mangled by Microsoft Windows, which obtusely uses its own character encodings in place of Unicode.
I agree, rolig, that omnipotence implies (at least the capacity for) omniscience. The converse, however, is false. (Consider Cassandra.) Ruzuzu's statement, parsed as claiming the two ain't equivalent, therefore still stands.