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Apr 30, 2018
This week’s theme
Coined words

This week’s words
adhocracy
meme
teetotal
booboisie
ekistics

adhocracy
Adhocracy 1

adhocracy
Adhocracy 2

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Reader Lara Baker wrote:

I live in a sub-division of duplexes. At a Homeowners’ Board meeting, I heard a new word: roofmate. It refers to the residents of the other half of a duplex from one’s own. The derivation is obvious, and I think that it is an excellent coinage.

The word roofmate is self-descriptive and indeed an excellent coinage. Anything that fills gaps in the language is good. Coining new words is one of the ways a language grows.

May your word live long and prosper! From a word’s point of view, to live long and prosper is to get into a dictionary.

This week we’ll feature five coined words that have found a place in dictionaries.

adhocracy

PRONUNCIATION:
(ad-HAWK-ruh-see)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A flexible, adaptable organization that lacks a formal structure.
2. An organization characterized by lack of planning, responding to problems as they emerge rather than anticipating and avoiding them.

ETYMOLOGY:
Coined by Warren Bennis and Philip Slater in their book The Temporary Society. From Latin ad hoc (for this, i.e. for a particular purpose only) + -cracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1966.

USAGE:
“Readers will get a sharp sense of its folkways; its unwritten rules, and adhocracies.”
Jennifer Senior; Refugee Limbo; The New York Times; Jan 2, 2016.

“The shambolic adhocracy of his White House is a perfect reflection of Trump’s own chaotic, disordered thought process and lack of mental discipline.”
Rick Wilson; The Problem in Trump White House?; The Daily Beast (New York); Apr 10, 2017.

See more usage examples of adhocracy in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I learn that ten percent of all the world's species are parasitic insects. It is hard to believe. What if you were an inventor, and you made ten percent of your inventions in such a way that they could only work by harnessing, disfiguring, or totally destroying the other ninety percent? -Annie Dillard, author (b. 30 Apr 1945)

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