Word of the Day – June 10, 2012

bête noire (noun)


someone or something especially disliked or avoided

The best airplanes in 1914 were easier to fly than the best commercially available today. They were not, however, safer to fly. Little was then known of aircraft structural engineering. The machines of that day were flimsy affairs and apt to fall apart in the air. They were so underpowered that the difference between their top speed and the minimum required to sustain flight was not much more than ten miles an hour. The stall was an ever-present menace, and this, with the tailspin which frequently follows it, remains to this day the bête noire of the novice pilot.
Malcolm B. Ronald     January 1937

… from More Words That Make A Difference

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