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Jan 18, 2010
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
asperity
obscurantism
sedulous
surcease
lineament
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Have you ever opened a dictionary to look up a word, only to find yourself distracted by another word on the page? The definition of that word steers you to yet another, some two hundred pages ahead, and before you know it your fingers are cavorting as if in a random dance on the leaves of the lexicon.

This week's words in AWAD were chosen by following precisely that route. You could call it Brownian Motion, Browsing the Web, or Looking Words Up In a Dictionary.

asperity

PRONUNCIATION:
(ah-SPER-i-tee)
MEANING:
noun: Harshness or roughness.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French from Latin asper (rough).

USAGE:
"We must expect posterity
to view with some asperity
the marvels and the wonders
we're passing on to it;
but it should change its attitude
to one of heartfelt gratitude
when thinking of the blunders
we didn't quite commit."
Our Greatest Achievement; Piet Hein; Grooks.

"Dressed in Robert Jones's well-cut, earth-toned '60s' pantsuits, Lagerfelt wittily mixes languor and asperity."
David Benedict; Greta Garbo Came to Donegal; Variety (Los Angeles); Jan 13, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind. -Giacomo Leopardi, poet, essayist, and philosopher (1798-1837)

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