Raise your hand if like most millennials, you learnt the word ‘sporadically’ along with Brittany Murphy’s character Tai, in the film Clueless.
Ironically, her character doesn’t quite get the grasp of it, famously saying "I hope not sporadically!" but that didn’t deter me from eagerly looking it up in the dictionary.
Back in 1995, I was, some would say, a slightly precocious 9 year old, and adding such a word to my vocabulary felt very grown up. Generous in syllables, but still seeming to roll off the tongue. When I think about it, I rarely use its adjective sister, sporadic. Much more blunt and harsh in sound, maybe somewhat lacking in flourish?
Meaning “occasionally or at irregular intervals”, sporadically does what it says on the tin. It’s most certainly not a word that will pop into my conversation every day, and probably not even once a week.
But when it does, it’s the perfect choice, and makes me feel as young as Paul Rudd (still) looks whenever I say it.