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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bureaucracy   Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:59 am

Word of the Day: Bureaucracy


Bureaucracy [byʊ-rŏk'rə-sē] refers to the administrative system that governs social organizations. Bureaucracy includes laws, regulations, departments, and committees. Bureaucracy is often used in a negative sense to denote procedures which seem to reject common sense and human feeling in favor of inflexible rules and regulations. The adjective is bureaucratic.


"One of Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein’s favorite refrains is that under mayoral control, the New York City school system was able to slash $250 million from its bureaucracy and pour that money back into the classrooms." (New York Times)


"Although Mr McNeil accepts that the authority has the power to allow specific requests from donors, he personally and repeatedly refused to allow the daughter’s request (to donate a kidney to her mother). The only reason he has given is that such a decision cannot be made until the ethical review committee has reported, a purely bureaucratic reason. The daughter’s wishes have to be refused because they are not on the agenda." (TimesOnLine.co.uk)
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PostSubject: Re: Word of the Day -   Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:49 pm

Word of the Day: Daunt


Daunt [(dônt] is a verb meaning “to discourage, to frighten.” The adjective daunting usually has the sense of “intimidating.”


"Putting together the Cubs playoff roster will be a daunting task for general manager Jim Hendry and manager Lou Piniella, and though both say they haven’t even thought about it yet, you know they have a pretty good idea of who they want playing for them in October." (Chicago Tribune)


"UN weapons inspectors, in their second week on the job, plan to take their cues from analysts in Vienna and New York who could spend weeks scrutinizing the Iraqi report and comparing it with previous information…UN officials say that will present a daunting challenge even for the 100 inspectors expected to be in place by Christmas." (Los Angeles Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Kernel   Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Word of the Day: Kernel

Kernel [kûr'nəl] is a noun that refers to the edible substance that you find inside nuts, or to a grain or seed enclosed in a husk. The term can also be used more broadly to identify the central or core part of any structure. That is why the central part of most computer operating systems is also called a kernel.


"In my grandfather’s day, rushing corn from field to pot was the only way to get the optimum sweetness, because once it was picked, its kernels would begin to convert their sugar to starch." (NY Times)


"The security companies are also upset that Microsoft has taken steps in certain versions of Vista to prevent any software from penetrating what is called the kernel — the core of the operating system." (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Chagrin   Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:17 pm

Word of the Day: Chagrin


Chagrin [shə-grĭn'] literally refers to the cutting pain produced by the friction of Shagreen leather. It is widely used in a figurative way, however, where it means a strong embarrassment that is caused by failure, disappointment or by an awkward circumstance.


"Lear brokered the deal to get then-middleweight boxing champion Bernard Hopkins to wear a tattoo promoting an online gambling website that covered his entire back for the biggest fight of 2001 against Felix Trinidad, much to the chagrin of promoters and TV networks." (USA Today)


"Like Google’s Gmail, a powerful and well designed e-mail service that people often prefer to their company’s own system (to the chagrin of IT managers), Skype may prove too attractive to squash." (The Economist)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Stentorian   Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:54 pm

Word of the Day: Stentorian


Stentorian [stĕn-tôr'ē-ən] refers to something extremely loud or powerful, usually a voice. Stentor was a herald in the Iliad, and he had a powerful voice. That is where the term comes from.


"The blatant disregard for Human Rights, the stentorian racism and unashamed nepotism displayed by Mugabe and his pathetic goons is allowed to continue because of some mystical allegiance to the old African leadership club." (The Economist)


"Watching an avalanche from a distance or hearing the stentorian cracking boom of a calving iceberg are unforgettable experiences." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Aura   Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:28 pm

Word of the Day: Aura


Aura [ôr'ə] is a noun, and it refers to an invisible, subtle breath or emanation, like the aroma of the flowers. It can also be used to indicate the atmosphere or intangible quality surrounding a thing or person. The plural can be written as auras or aurae.


"Carlyle says Mr. Bush does not do fund-raising for the firm — he makes speeches to potential Carlyle investors while Carlyle executives make the actual pitch for cash. Still, even the aura of the presidency has not overcome a sluggish Japanese economy." (NY Times)


"Most documentaries stick with interviews of living people. But since this one’s about New York’s Chelsea Hotel and its rock ‘n’ roll aura, it seems natural that the ghosts of Janis Joplin and Sid Vicious turn up." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Karma   Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:43 am

Word of the Day: Karma

Karma [kär'mə], according to the Buddhism, is the overall effect that the actions of a person will have on his or her own future existence. It is also used generally in the western world to indicate one’s destiny or fate.

According to the mysticism, karma is considered to be non-physical emanations that each person releases, and which may affect the environment around him or her.


"Sharon Stone’s films are facing a boycott in China after the actress suggested that the massive earthquake there earlier this month, which is estimated to have killed some 65,000 people, was the result of bad “karma” stemming from the country’s mistreatment of Tibet." (The Economist Blogs)


"I don’t want to get into a “My Name Is Earl” thing, but Roethlisberger is the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. And he made that fabulous game-saving tackle (and maybe Super Bowl-making tackle) in the playoffs against the Colts after Jerome Bettis had fumbled. I sit here and ask myself, did his karma turn bad?" (Washington Post)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Liaison   Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:49 pm

Word of the Day: Liaison

Liaison (lē’ā-zŏn’) is a link, connection or bond. It is commonly used to describe a communication or co-operation between two groups or units within an organization (e.g., co-operation between two different military forces). The person who works to connect two groups or units can also be called liaison (e.g., liaison officer).


"Hollywood and the Pentagon: A Dangerous Liaison." (NYTimes.com)


"Jonathan Martin reports that some of those supporters got together in Michigan this week to meet with Mr McCain’s social conservative liaison, Marlys Popma." (Economist.com)

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Lexicon   Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:28 pm

Word of the Day: Lexicon

Lexicon (lĕk’sĭ-kŏn’) is a dictionary or vocabulary. It contains the words and expressions of a language. It can also refer to the collection of terms used in a particular profession or field (e.g., the lexicon of philosophy).


"She winced at his response of such a gratuitous “Wow”: it said little for his seizure of her meaning and even less for his lexicon." (The Well-Tempered Sentence by Karen Elizabeth Gordon)


“You are my darling, my d-a-r-l-i-n-g,” said the spelling master to his rapt and evasive pupil as he opened her eyes to a whole lexicon of shame. (The Well-Tempered Sentence by Karen Elizabeth Gordon)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Fledge   Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:59 pm

Word of the Day: Fledge


Fledge (flĕj) means to furnish with feathers necessary for flight. It refers to birds, but it is also used figuratively, where it means to take care of something until it is ready to fly (e.g., a project or product).


"On September 30th the company will roll out another fledgling product, Google Wave, for a test involving some 100,000 people." (Economist.com)


"Blue lasers are only now starting to fledge from some of the world’s leading commercial R&D labs." (USAToday.com)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Burgeon   Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:46 pm

Word of the Day: Burgeon

Burgeon (bûr’jən), which can also be spelt as bourgeon, means to grow, sprout or blossom.


"Howard also announced a cash payment of $720 for each adult and $400 for each child who lost their homes — an initial response that was expected to burgeon quickly to millions of dollars in aid." (USAToday.com)


"The firm risks stifling potential money-spinners with a burgeoning bureaucracy." (Economist.com)

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ward   Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:13 pm

Word of the Day: Ward

Ward (wôrd) has several meanings. It can be a specific area of a city, prison, castle, hospital and the like. To ward means to guard or protect, and the person who guards can also be called ward. Finally, the expression to ward off is commonly used to express the act of repelling something.


"Ten years after the AIDS epidemic began, College Hospital Costa Mesa on Monday will open Orange County’s first ward dedicated to treating patients infected with the deadly virus." (LATimes.com)


"Both moves are designed to ward off the conservatism that can set in as companies mature." (Economist.com)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Arson   Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:40 pm

Word of the Day: Arson


Arson (är’sən) is the crime of voluntarily burning the house or property of another person. Burning your own house with a malicious purpose is also considered arson. Finally, the person who commits this crime is called arsonist.


"Matthew Cloyd, 20, and Benjamin Moseley and Russell DeBusk, both 19, face a hearing in federal court here today on arson and conspiracy charges." (USAToday.com)


"The deadly fire at Angeles National Forest is renewing a push from California lawmakers for a national registry of convicted arsonists." (Houston Chronicle)

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nihilism   Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:08 am

Word of the Day: Nihilism


Nihilism is a doctrine. It defends that nothing can be really known or communicated. In other words, it is an extreme skepticism regarding knowledge and reality itself, and it can be equated with nothingness. Nihilism can also mean the rejection of all established religious values and morals. The adjective is nihilistic.


"Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s presumed next president, criticized Russia’s “legal nihilism” and called for stepping up the fight against corruption, opening his campaign Tuesday with a careful speech before a Kremlin-organized forum." (USAToday.com)


"The suspicion – hotly disputed by the deconstructionists – is that there is something nihilistic about the mode of inquiry precisely because of its tendency to dismantle all ideas, and with them moral principles and values." (NYTimes.com)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gamut   Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:46 am

Word of the Day: Gamut


A gamut is anything graduated (i.e. marked at regular intervals) used to measure. A ruler, for example, could be called a gamut. In music a gamut represents all the known musical notes. Finally, gamut can also mean a complete range of something (e.g., a gamut of colors).


"ESPN’s online arm runs gamut of live sports offerings" (USA Today)


"The court’s liberal wing strenuously disagreed, offering its own historical construction that emphasized a gamut of restrictions on firearms…" (WSJ)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Topple   Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:49 pm

Word of the Day: Topple

Topple is a verb which means to throw down or overthrow. It can also refer to the act of suddenly dropping to the ground. The adjective is toppled.


"Street protesters, furious about the economy, topple the government of Iceland." (The Economist)


"More than 100 trees were toppled and around 500 others were damaged in Central Park Tuesday night during a severe thunderstorm." (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Betoken   Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:10 pm

Word of the Day: Betoken

Betoken is a verb which means to indicate by signs or tokens. It can also mean to presage.


"Yet remember: this was the policy for peace. It is an awful flop. It does not betoken strength. Any weakling can call in the generals and then turn ashen as the options drain away." (Guardian)


"Companies with obligations that mature by 2012 are issuing a flood of new bonds. Does this betoken pessimism about recovery or wise management?" (Business Week)

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Menace   Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:17 am

Word of the Day: Menace


Menace is a verb that means to threaten or to express the intention of inflicting evil or injury. It can also be used as a noun, meaning a threat. It comes from the Latin minae, the projecting (and dangerous) points in the walls of caves.


"To put it plainly, distracted driving is a menace to society." (The Economist)


"Rustlers are now a growing menace in some parts of rural America, striking in the dead of night and sometimes selling their haul before the rancher or farmer discovers the animals are gone." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Prowess   Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:44 pm

Word of the Day: Prowess


Prowess refers to bravery and valor, especially inside the military context. It can also be used more broadly, meaning a superior skills or ability. It comes from the French prouesse.


"At the Asian Art Museum, ‘Lords of the Samurai’ glimpses the warrior-aesthetes who combined martial prowess with cultural attainment." (LA Times)


"Some commentators have assumed that the prowess of Japanese companies in acquiring foreign companies will mitigate the overall downturn at home." (Business Week)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Patois   Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:44 pm

Word of the Day: Patois


A patois is a regional dialect, which is different from the standard or literary language. A synonym of patois is jargon. It comes from the French patois, which means local speech.


"I asked for a few words in patois. Mr. Gex said that words for the same thing can differ not only from one valley to the next but even from one village to another within the same valley, though each can understand the other." (NY Times)


"Plans to translate the Bible into patois — Jamaica’s unofficial language — have ignited a fiery debate that stretches beyond the shores of this island nation." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Whet   Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:30 am

Word of the Day: Whet


Whet is a verb, and it means to rub on with something or to sharpen. You can whet a knife with stone, for example. It can also mean to excite, stimulate or instigate.


"There’s nothing like a global financial crisis to whet appetites for business news." (USA Today)


"Mr. Lawrence said the problems had contributed to the scarcity of the machines. He said, however, that the shortages had helped whet public demand." (NY Times)

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mettle   Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:05 am

Word of the Day: Mettle


Mettle is a quality of temperament. It refers to courage, fortitude and disposition. Mettle can also mean the “stuff of which a person is made.” The word is a variant spelling of metal, and its origin comes exactly from the allusion to the temper of a sword.


"But it’s only after a stumble or failure that a manager or leader shows his or her true mettle." (Business Week)


"But several have come upon a new way to test their virtuosic mettle: Amid the latest violin disks, most of which are conventional studio productions, there are several recordings of live performances, issues without cosmetic editing." (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Kindle   Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:21 pm

Word of the Day: Kindle

Kindle is a verb which can be used transitively, where it means to set fire, or intransitively, where it means to take fire or to begin to burn in flames. The transitive usage can also mean to arouse.


"When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." (The Holy Bible)


"Celia, finds love with a fellow officer. Even the local barfly, Jerome, manages to kindle romance." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bilk   Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:51 pm

Word of the Day: Bilk

Bilk is a transitive verb which means to cheat, to elude or to evade payment. It can also be used as a noun, where it means either a person who cheats or the cheat itself.


"O.K., not the exact same thing. My stepfather isn’t crafty enough to bilk people out of $65 billion. He got away with only a little more than $4 million. But he used the same pickpocket routine as Madoff." (NY Times)


"The incentives were more complex than to bilk shareholders by betting the ranch every time." (The Economist)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Knotty   Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:08 pm

Word of the Day: Knotty

Knotty is an adjective used to describe something with many knots. It can also be used figuratively to express something difficult, intricate or complex.


"For several months, the future of those sleek Jaguar saloons and robust all-terrain Land Rovers, symbols of a once-great British motor industry, seemed to hang in the balance as Tata, parent of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), and government officials wrangled over the knotty issue of financial support." (The Economist)


"Analysts see a chance of getting a franchise-focused bill passed into law this year. That’s unlikely, though, if legislation is broadened to include such knotty topics as indecency and wireless spectrum allocations." (Business Week)
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