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Dec 14, 2009
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
anomie
simulacrum
avoirdupois
arrogate
pother
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

This week we'll feature a potpourri of words. We opened a dictionary, shook it gently, and five words fell out. They came in all shapes, sizes, and senses. They're short and long. They're flighty and grouchy. Call 'em what you will, a medley of words, a farrago, or a gallimaufry. They're disparate, they're diverse. They're varied and variegated, unclassified and unsorted. And they're all ready for use.

anomie or anomy

PRONUNCIATION:
(AN-uh-mee)

MEANING:
noun: Social instability and alienation caused by the erosion of norms and values.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French anomie, from Greek anomia (lawlessness), from anomos (lawless), from a- (without) + nomos (law). Ultimately from the Indo-European root nem- (to assign or take) that's also the source for words such as number, numb, nomad, metronome, astronomy, and nemesis.

USAGE:
"That didn't mean the music was emotionless, but that the emotions were bleak: isolation, urban anomie, feeling cold and hollow inside, paranoia."
Simon Reynolds; One Nation Under A Moog; The Guardian (London, UK); Oct 10, 2009.

See more usage examples of anomie in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. -Vladimir Nabokov, novelist (1899-1977)

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