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Jul 7, 2014
This week's theme
Words that sound dirty, but aren't

This week's words
hortatory
formicate
assonance
inspissate
cocker

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Politics is a dirty business, but what if you need to slander an opponent who's an incarnation of virtue? All you need is this "Guaranteed Effective All-Occasion Non-Slanderous Political Smear Speech" from Mad magazine (WebCite). It has gems such as:

"His female relatives put on a constant pose of purity and innocence, and claim they are inscrutable, yet every one of them has taken part in hortatory activities."

Well, election season is coming up and so we give you a fresh set of words to help you write your own non-slanderous smear speech. Even if you don't plan on contesting an election, why not sprinkle these words in your office memos, research reports, or term papers?

This week we'll see five words that sound dirty, but aren't.

hortatory

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOR-tuh-tor-ee)

MEANING:
adjective: Strongly urging.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin hortari (to urge). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gher- (to like or want), which also gave us yearn, charisma, greedy, and exhort. Earliest documented use: 1586.

USAGE:
"Of course, the book has its morals, just not hortatory ones."
More Than Just a Phunny Phellow; The Economist (London, UK); Apr 15, 2010.

"There are hortatory slogans painted along the architrave."
Will Self; Real Meals; New Statesman (London, UK); Oct 25, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

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