chicanery (noun) 

Chicanery (shuh-KAY-nuh-ree) is the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose. As I used it today: “We cannot accept this sort of chicanery. We need to do something serious to end the inequality now.”

Continue Reading

imbroglio (noun) 

As I used it today: “The hydroxychloroquine imbroglio is just one of a dozen confusions that have emerged from the political and media exploitation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Continue Reading

righteous (adjective) 

Righteous (RITE-chus) means correct or justifiable according to the code of behavior of a particular society. As I used it today: “[If you advocate for a new standard of equality], you will likely feel virtuous – righteous and morally superior.”

Continue Reading

grok (verb) 

To grok (GRAHK) is to understand something profoundly and intuitively. As I used it today: “I don’t remember exactly when I first read about the Pareto Principle, but I’m certain I did not grok it early in my career.”

Continue Reading

longeur (noun) 

Longeur (lahn-GUR) is a tedious passage in a book or other work. As I used it today: “As you can surmise from that introduction, I have a lot to say on this subject. And lest you think it’s going to be episode after episode of longueur, I promise to focus on ideas you haven’t heard before.”

Continue Reading

proffer (verb) 

To proffer (PRAH-fur) is to offer; to hold out something to someone for acceptance. As I used it today: “He proffered a few unconvincing answers. Finally. he told me the truth.”

Continue Reading

proliferate (verb) 

To proliferate (pruh-LIH-fuh-rate) is to multiply; to increase or spread rapidly and excessively. As I used it today: “Viruses don’t extinguish themselves. They proliferate until their basic reproductive rate (R0) drops below 1.”

Continue Reading

clarion (adjective) 

Clarion (KLARE-ee-un) means loud and clear. As used by Martin Dempsey: “Sometimes we wait for thunderclaps, drumrolls, and clarion calls to alert us to what’s important when, actually, it’s most often the subtle and persistent signals around us that make the most difference.”

Continue Reading

portentous (adjective)

Portentous (por-TEN-tus) means serious; ominous. As used by Francine Prose: What makes [Hillary Mantel’s] novels seem at once breezy and substantial is Mantel’s knack for leavening her weighty themes with seductive narrative strategies (suspense, portentous foreshadowing, hints of sinister and violent mysteries) that make the reader keep turning the pages.”

Continue Reading

fugacious (adjective) 

Something that’s fugacious (fyoo-GAY-shus) is fleeting; transitory. As used by Hannah More: “Honours and dignities are transient, beauty and riches frail and fugacious.”

Continue Reading