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Words of The Week


I love words. I don’t profess to be an expert in how to use them, where they come from, memorizing them (essential to Scrabble), or even how to spell them, but I appreciate them. I appreciate language. Without them/it, we can’t think—experience, yes, but we would have no way of qualifying that experience. Many of you may remember I used to offer up a “Word of the Day.” I stopped because I was excoriated (how’s that for a lovely word?) by someone—a book editor, no less—for pretentiousness, for posting words that no one would ever use in ordinary situations.

I was wrong to let that person bully me and dissuade me from doing something I enjoy. So I’ve decided to bring words back t my posts. It seems only appropriate, since that’s the way we all communicate, here and elsewhere. Instead of posting daily, however, I’ll compile words of the week, all of which will come books or articles I’ve read. You may find some of the words pretentious, or not. But I promise that they’ll have been used in everyday, ordinary writing or speech. Enjoy.

This week’s words, with the contextual quote in which they were used:

fissiparous, adj., inclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups. “The politics of these times are as fissiparous as most of us can recall.”

immanence, n., indwelling; inherent; thoughts or mental acts in the mind of a subject that have no effect outside it. “The film itself—in keeping with the cultural immanence now of our politics—has been criticized (including by me) for its supposed playing down of the intrinsically American nature of the first moon landing…”

uxorious, adj., having or showing an excessive or submissive fondness for one's wife. “…though it seems everyone participated in painting the man they knew to be a boozer, womanizer and midnight rambler as a clean-living, uxorious, adorable galoot.”

diktat, n., order or decree by someone in power without popular consent. “The Babe railed—and eventually prevailed—against Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis’s diktat that players who had participated in the World Series could not barnstorm during the following off-season.”


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