gregarious (adjective)

A person who is gregarious (gruh-GARE-ee-us) is fond of company; sociable. As I used it today: “I am rich in friendships. Not because I’m a gregarious person. I’m not. But I do have an irrepressible curiosity about people and especially about people that are new to me.”

 

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integrity (noun) 

Integrity (in-TEH-grih-tee) is adherence to moral and ethical standards. As used by Dwight David Eisenhower: “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

 

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facultative (adjective) 

Facultative (FAK-uhl-tay-tiv) means optional; left to one’s choice. As used by Frederic Austin Ogg in The Governments of Europe: “In some cantons the referendum is obligatory, in others it is ‘facultative,’ or optional.”

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apotheosis (noun) 

Apotheosis (uh-poth-ee-OH-sis) is the perfect example of something; a glorified ideal. As used by Katie Baker (“The Queen of the French Kitchen”): “If life has such a thing as an apotheosis, it surely involves truffled capon.”

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insuperable (adjective) 

Something that is insuperable (in-SOO-puh-ruh-bul) cannot be surmounted or overcome. As used by J.R.R. Tolkien: “The original ‘Hobbit’ was never intended to have a sequel – Bilbo ‘remained very happy to the end of his days and those were extraordinarily long’: a sentence I find an almost insuperable obstacle to a satisfactory link.”

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parvenu (noun) 

A parvenu (PAR-vuh-noo) is someone who has suddenly gained wealth, influence, or celebrity but does not yet have the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it. As I used it today: “I don’t like this parvenu expression ‘speak to’ when its meaning is ‘speak about.’”

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entropy (noun) 

Entropy (EN-truh-pee) is the gradual, inevitable decline from order to disorder. As I used it today: “Entropy operates at every level and in every part of every business: customer service, production, fulfillment. Even sales and marketing.”

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assiduous (adjective)

Assiduous (uh-SIJ-oo-us) means constant, persevering, industrious, attentive. As used by William Hurt: “Great risks come in long term, tremendously assiduous, very courageous study.”

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balletomane (noun)

A balletomane (bah-LET-uh-mane) is a ballet enthusiast. Example from A Feather on the Breath of Godby Sigrid Nunez: “Balletomanes tend to be critical, their hates are as strong as their loves, and at intermission, listen: You’re as likely to hear them tearing a dancer down as praising her.”

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flâneur (noun) 

A flâneur (flah-NUR) is an idle man-about-town; a casual wanderer and observer of street life. Example from the Norton Museum of Art website: “From the 19th-century flâneur… to today’s social media networkers, the need to get a glimpse of famous or notorious personalities and the compulsion to be seen within an aura of celebrity and influence has driven – and been driven by – the graphic arts.”

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