Testing my teenage daughter on her vocab, I learned that “lurid” had a meaning other than sensational, causing shock or horror; it can also mean pallid or wan.The word comes from the Latin word for “pale,” according to my American Heritage Dictionary.
Really? As in, “She had a lurid complexion”? This brings us a confusing image of a face somehow mixed up in a shocking crime. Next time I see a friend looking pale I’ll say, “You’re looking lurid, my dear. What’s wrong?” Nah. I probably won’t.