Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

The latest edition of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, has been online for about two weeks. The six 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. peripatetic
2. avarice
3. miasma
4. iconoclast
5. obtuse
6. subservient

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:


-- as he relentlessly travels from one world capital to another, John Kerry becoming one of our most peripatetic secretaries of state ever

-- this job is one of the more peripatetic assignments within the company

-- V.J. telling someone, laughingly: “Since 2006, I’ve traveled around the country quite a bit, presenting communication seminars for the benefit of corporate, nonprofit, and federal government entities and, of course, speaking at conferences and conventions. So, yeah, my latest incarnation is that of a peripatetic.”

-- a peripatetic professor constantly pacing the room while he lectures; the peripatetic lifestyle of some consultants because…; a peripatetic artist who frequently exhibits his works at different places

-- famous opera singers whose careers have turned them into peripatetics as they hop from one city to another; a politician who can be described as a peripatetic both geographically and ideologically


-- conversations just dripping with avarice

-- the movie “Syriana” depicts the evil that can result when powerful government officials do the bidding of an industry captain whose avarice his no moral limits--who is avariciously intent upon maximizing his wealth

-- the avarice that has characterized some art museums as the compete for bragging rights

-- the avaricious leaders of some nations in Africa and Asia who secretly built huge Swiss bank accounts

-- the extremely tragic “Trail of Tears” of 1838-39, a result of Andrew Jackson dishonorably defying the Supreme Court and the State of Georgia then avariciously evicting the Cherokees from their homeland because gold had been discovered there


-- until the recent budget agreement between Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, the miasma of hopelessness and pessimism which had paralyzed Washington D.C.

-- an upright American businessman having a hard time penetrating the miasma of corruption that pervades some parts of the world

-- my previous sales job was in one heck of a miasmic environment which I wouldn’t recommend even to my worst enemies; the miasma of alcohol that emanates from someone married to the bottle

-- the dark and miasmic past that used to be called East Germany; the miasma of smog that has been hitting Beijing latterly; the miasmic future depicted in the 1982 film “Blade Runner”

-- many Haitians living amid a miasma of indescribable poverty and deprivation


-- Vanguard founder John Bogle unpopular with the mutual fund industry because of his lifelong iconoclasm

-- he has done lots of unconventional things that have really shaken up the establishment—quite the iconoclast!

-- years ago, he was really admired for his outside the box, iconoclastic views and approach, but now he is traditional and conformist in his thinking, like everyone else;
two committee members always clashing because one is orthodox and the other is iconoclastic

-- an iconoclastic blogger; an iconoclastic chef; an architect’s iconoclastic designs; two U.S. senators known for their iconoclasm: Republican John McCain and Democrat Russ Feingold

-- the late Ransom Myers, who iconoclastically took on the fishing industry and national governments and successfully challenged the zeitgeist that “overfishing of the oceans” is an oxymoron


-- with regard to the scandalous lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last September, one wonders how anyone sworn to public service can make such a nakedly obtuse decision, no matter what their agenda

-- the presenter kept repeating the material, as if we were much too obtuse to understand the stuff the first time through; Scott has a tin ear for people’s reactions to his stories and jokes, which explains why he spoke so obtusely last evening and offended some of the women present

-- referring to the nearly 100 wild elephants being killed by poachers each day to satisfy the gluttonous and ignoble demand for ivory in China and South East Asia, this author exhorting his Chinese and other readers to goad and shame their respective governments into shedding moral obtuseness and squelching the demand for elephant tusks

-- somebody’s exasperating obtuseness; Congressman Todd Akin’s obtuse remarks about rape costing him the election

-- the fact that the U.S. Senate failed to pass commonsense background checks for gun buyers even in the wake of the murder of 20 elementary school children at Sandyhook bespeaks of the level of obtuseness that prevails in Congress


-- following the execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s uncle for, among other reasons, applauding only tepidly during the dictator’s speeches, you can bet that the people of that Stalinist state will be even more fawning and subservient when in the presence of Jong-Un;  some in Iran showing blind subservience to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei

-- in our business, product quality is of preeminent importance, so cost reduction targets must always be subservient to quality goals 

-- you’ll witness a lot of deference and subservience when Sharon, our founder and CEO, is running a meeting

-- a medical study that gives the impression of being objective but is actually subservient to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry that paid for it and which, therefore, uses select pieces of data to arrive at its conclusions

-- in many companies, HR playing a subservient role and often being overruled by operations and sales execs

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal

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