Subtlety = Sub-Till-Tea

Subtlety sub-till-tea n. the act of avoiding an unpleasant situation through clever maneuvering. Literally: waiting under a rock until tea time. Words are pretty cool. They let you write a letter confessing your love to your crush, understand your favorite Friends episode, tell your roommate to stop stealing your food, or negotiate a pay raise with your boss. If you’re like me, you like words … Continue reading Subtlety = Sub-Till-Tea

Daily Tidbit: Definition of Reductive

reductive (adj.) Pronunciation: [re-duhk-tiv] Meaning: presented in an overly simple or crude way Synonyms: crude, coarse, declining, simplified Examples: The way she presented the quantum entanglement theory was a bit reductive; it was way too simplified and lacking detail. “Umm… It feels reductive. Look it up.” – Madonna re: Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Definition of Reductive

Daily Word: consensus

consensus (n.) Pronounciation: con-SEHN-suss Meaning: geneeral agreement Synonyms: agreement, harmony, unanimity, solidarity, accord Example: The consensus among the nine judges was that Johan Walter was the best contestant in the dance competition, and he was accordingly awarded the 1st place prize. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue reading Daily Word: consensus

Daily Word: abject

abject (adj.) Pronounciation: AB-jekt Meaning: 1. In a low state or condition. 2. Showing hopelessness or resignation. Cast down in spirit. 3. Offered in an ingratiating spirit. Without pride or dignity. Synonyms: spiritless, servile, wretched, degrading, pitiful, base, miserable Example: The orphaned puppy gave an abject whimper as he struggled to find some remnant of warmth on the cold cement ground. Tears and snot streamed down his mother’s face as … Continue reading Daily Word: abject

Daily Word: prosody

prosody (n.) Pronounciation: pra-suh-dee Meaning: 1. the patterns of rhythm and sound in poetry and language, especially spoken. 2. The systematic study of metrical structure in linguistics, poetry, and music. Synonyms: inflection, versification, metrics, poetic rhythm. Explanation: Prosody is characterized at the phonetic level by vocal pitch, loudness, and rhythm. Analyzing prosody in speech can help uncover the speaker’s emotional state, attitude, and speech community. For more information on prosody and … Continue reading Daily Word: prosody

Daily Word: portmanteau

portmanteau (n.) Pronounciation: port-man-toe Meaning: 1. A large trunk or suitcase that opens into two equal halves. Any bag (usually leather) used to carry clothes while traveling. 2. Consisting of or combining two or more separate parts or qualities, such as a word that combines the sounds and meanings of two words to create a new word. Synonyms: 1. bag, luggage. 2. compound word, blend Example (literary): … Continue reading Daily Word: portmanteau

Daily Word: litotes

litotes (n.) Pronounciation: lie-toe-tees Meaning: A figure of speech in which an affirmative understatement is expressed by negating its opposite. A litotes emphasizes or draws attention to an idea or situation through ironical understatement. Do you have an example? Kira’s lunch with her ex was not the most cordial affair. It is not uncommon for the average college student to sleep less than five hours on a … Continue reading Daily Word: litotes

Daily Word: mimesis

mimesis (n.) Pronounciation: my-mee-sis Meaning: imitation and representation, especially in regards to works of art and literature representing reality or the physical world. In biology, this refers to an organism mimicking another organism. Synonyms: Mimicry, copying, impersonation Can you use it in a sentence? “French artist Gustave Courbet rejected the Classical Western illusionistic tradition of mimesis, which sought to capture the reality in visual representation, and instead paved … Continue reading Daily Word: mimesis

Monday Money: Don’t Use Jargon… Unless Your Reader Is Also Pretentious

David Ogilvy, the advertising executive who is widely known as “The Father of Advertising,” was a wizard at using language and images that would appeal to the intelligence of American consumers, entertain them, and at the very least, spark their interest in his clients’ products. His work contributed to the success that many American products profit from today, inclluding Dove, Schweppes, and Rolls-Royce. Ogilvy once … Continue reading Monday Money: Don’t Use Jargon… Unless Your Reader Is Also Pretentious