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Pronunciation RealAudio

incult (in-KULT) adjective

Rude; uncultured.

[From Latin incultus, from in- (not) + cultus, past participle of colere (to cultivate). Ultimately from the Indo-European root k(w)el- (to revolve) that's also the source of words such as culture, chakra, wheel, cycle, palindrome, decollate, cult, talisman. What a menagerie of words sprouting from a single root!]

"The average incult eye turned away with the mutter, 'Free verse,' meaning by this that the poet was taking things easy." Hugh Kenner; A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers; Johns Hopkins University Press; 1989.

"And he deemed the behavior of the birds all the more curious because of the island's solitude: for here there were no paths other than would be made by forest animals; and the woods and meadows were wholly wild and incult; and the towers were seemingly desolate, with sea-fowl and land-fowl flying in and out of their empty windows." Clark Ashton Smith; Tales of Zothique; Necronomicon Press; 1995.

Philosopher, mathematician and writer, Bertrand Russell, once said, "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." This week's words describe people falling somewhere in that spectrum. Can you identify some of those around you in the five words we'll discuss this week?

-Anu Garg


This is his first punishment, that by the verdict of his own heart no guilty man is acquitted. -Juvenal, poet (c. 60-140)

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