When Oscar Wilde reputedly told a US customs official that he had nothing to declare but his genius, he was, it is assumed, joking.
But genius has become a term used in everyday life to describe everything from hot-housed children to footballers, pop stars and celebrity chefs.
Now a panel of judges in the Court of Appeal is to be asked to grapple with the meaning of the word in the case of a multimillionaire husband seeking a bigger slice of the wealth he once shared with his wife in a divorce settlement.
To my mind, the word ‘genius’ tends to be over-used and is properly reserved for Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, Einstein, and others like themMr [sic] Justice Holman
Randy Work, an American financier, is seek to overturn as order at the High Court last year awarding his estranged wife, Mandy Gray, half of a fortune, totalling more than £140 million.
His lawyers argue that his performance as an investor was so stellar that the usual principle of dividing assets half and half in divorce settlements should be put aside.