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Jun 25, 2018
This week’s theme
Words from politics

This week’s words
malfeasance
nepotism
emolument
collusion
impeach

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Politics, at least here in the US, has become surreal lately. You can’t make sense of it by applying the laws that govern humanity.

Pericles, the Greek statesman, once said that just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

With that in mind, this week we’ll take an interest in politics and review five words that you may want to know more about.

PS: Even if you know these words, pay attention to their etymologies. Among other things, you’ll learn how words devolve, for example, from meaning “playing together” to “conspiring together”.

malfeasance

PRONUNCIATION:
(mal-FEE-zuhns)

MEANING:
noun: An illegal action, especially by a public official.

NOTES:
Not all members of a family are alike though they may have things in common. Two sisters of malfeasance are:
nonfeasance: a failure to act where there’s an obligation to
misfeasance: an unlawful exercise of a lawful act

ETYMOLOGY:
From Anglo-Norman malfaisance (wrongdoing), from Latin malefacere (to do wrong), from mal- (bad) + facere (to do). Earliest documented use: 1663.

USAGE:
“Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, and his team, packed with experts in financial malfeasance, is also believed to be looking at money laundering charges.”
Nina Burleigh; Trump vs. Mueller: Is the American Legal System Any Match for the President?; Newsweek (New York); Mar 16, 2018.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. -George Orwell, writer (25 Jun 1903-1950)

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