08 June 2010

Word Nerd: NY Times advanced vocab edition

When you double-click a word in an article at NYTimes.com, a question mark pops up. Click the question mark and you get the word's definition. Handy, I know. Well, it seems the good folks at the Gray Lady keep track of what words are looked up the most and have released the top 50 most looked-up words for 2010 thus far.

Here are the top 10 (each linked to its definition):

1) inchoate
2) profligacy
3) sui generis
4) austerity
5) profligate
6) baldenfreude (not an actual word)
7) opprobrium
8) apostates
9) solipsistic
10) obduracy
Out of the 50, I know 9 of them. I don't know if I should be pleased or embarrassed by those results. My brain has never done well with vocabulary -- I've been caught misusing words enough that I try to look-up and write down definitions when I come across handy looking new ones. That being said, I know that I've written down alacrity, inchoate, peripatetic, comity, and others in my notebook, but for the life of me, I can't recall what the hell they mean.

It's one of those things where, on one hand, eh, I can always use a dictionary and...whatever...fuck you, NY Times!, but on the other hand, maybe I'm just rationalizing my insecurities...and... ...fuck you, NY Times!

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry; I pride myself on my vocabulary, and I only knew 21 with confidence and a couple more shakily. Most of the words I learned from reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories in middle school :)

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