Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building a Powerful Vocabulary: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

The latest edition of “Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enhancement feature, has been online since the beginning of this month. Among the featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, “The Articulate Professional-3rd Edition”):

1. pecuniary
2. kerfuffle
3. tendentious
4. acolyte
5. duplicitous
6. impassioned

Here are extracts from some of my favorite examples, all carefully designed to help you implant the featured word into your conversational vocabulary and use it with confidence:


-- after the Tucson shootings, Sheriff Dupnik saying that much of the (political) venom being spouted on radio & TV arises from talk show hosts’ pecuniary motives

-- don’t park here—it’s a pecuniary offense; a lawyer being reprimanded by the judge for “putting his pecuniary interests above those of his client”

-- global warming will be less of an abstraction if we can explain to John Q. Public what sort of pecuniary effects it is having or will have on each individual

-- an NPR guest pointing out that in the case of poets, their pursuit does not arise out of a pecuniary goal


-- the current kerfuffle in Washington D.C. over how to rein in the budget deficits

-- the proposal to reduce the football team’s budget causing such a kerfuffle that the idea was quickly dropped

-- (after two longtime members suddenly opposed everyone else’s unanimous choice for club president) “I tell you, the resulting kerfuffle has badly upset the harmony within the club”


-- “No way can you call this book objective. It is highly tendentious.

-- some radio and TV channels that are clearly tendentious, thus giving their audience a distorted and unbalanced perspective

-- the tendentiousness that invariably creeps into the “historical account” of any great battle because….

-- after looking at identical data, many leading economists and lawmakers coming up with totally different conclusions, thanks to their tendentious interpretation of the facts

-- somebody promoting a tendentious theory; a tendentious translation of an ancient scripture; a tendentious history


-- according to CBS, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s acolytes include “geek circles and hacking circles for whom he is a hero”

-- this author telling an audience: “I am a fervent acolyte of two television shows: ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ and ‘PBS NewsHour’”

-- in a recent interview, Donald Rumsfeld telling Diane Sawyer that the younger Bush appointed him defense secretary knowing full well that he (Rumsfeld) was a critic and detractor rather than an acolyte of George H.W. Bush


-- Tab Hunter, the young matinee idol of the 1950s, telling CBS that he had been duplicitous all along—that the portrayal of him as an eligible heartthrob…

-- somebody who is extremely straightforward and simply incapable of duplicity;  her snickering about my plans is really duplicitous of her because…

-- according to some leading economists, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, the errors in judgment and duplicities of the credit rating agencies partly to blame for the recent financial crisis

-- New York’s then-attorney general Eliot Spitzer discovering that Wall Street analysts were engaging in stunningly duplicitous behavior


-- one of JFK’s most memorable and impassioned lines from his presidential speeches: “Ask not what your country can do for you….”

-- I bet we’ll get an impassioned, table-pounding speech from …; he is one heck of an impassioned and articulate guy

-- an impassioned email;  impassioned support from a top exec giving a boost to your controversial plan; a defense attorney’s impassioned closing arguments; Julia Roberts’s impassioned plea before Congress for …; media being flooded with impassioned statements both in support of and against a U.S. Supreme Court nominee

© Copyright 2011  V. J. Singal

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