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In the late 16th century, William Shakespeare (or someone else if you believe that sort of scuttlebutt), wrote Much Ado About nothing, a comedy that plays heavily on  misunderstandings and the disguising of identities. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s best as a stage play, because that’s how Shakespeare (or whomever) intended it, but there was also a movie made of Much Ado About Nothing, which was released in 2012.

So what has this got to do with the word ado? Nothing much other than the fact that ado is in the title of that play and the play was, as the title suggests, about much ado that was made about what turned out to be nothing.

Ado means trouble or difficulty. In common usage, it generally means persnickety, over-the-top activity. In uncommon usage, who the hell knows what it means. That’s why it’s uncommon.

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