Book Review : The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson

My favourite lines from the book :

My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius…..Instead measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator.

Unlike any self help book, this guide puts forward a ‘counterintuitive approach to living a good life’. Now what would you expect from a self help book : assurances like ‘you are special and born to extraordinary things’, ‘ whatever you think is or isn’t, you are right’, ‘keep trying’, ‘don’t doubt yourself’ and the like. But not this book. This book tells you that you are not special. ( And after reading the book, I agree with Mark! )

Mark Manson has very adeptly laid down his counter-intuitive thoughts well- illustrated using anecdotes from his life and those of his acquaintances. Throughout the book, you will get to read lines like : ‘Don’t try’ ( the first chapter) , ‘You are not special’, ‘Doubt your own thoughts’ and the best part : his reasoning and rationale is not flawed. In fact this is what make this book worth reading – because of Mark’s candid and uninhibited way of laying down secrets of living a happy life, secrets which are not in accordance with the generally- accepted philosophy, yet holds water. He has also laced his writing with profane humour & unbridled expressions. ( The title of the book is proof itself ! )

All in all, this groundbreaking book will definitely help you in re-evaluating your mantras of life. And according to Mark,once you do that you will realise that living a contented and happy life isn’t that difficult after all.

Highly recommended.

Confusables –  Easily Confused Words

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She excepted/accepted his marriage proposal.

Everybody came to the party accept/except Jake.

How many of you have faced difficulties in using similar sounding words – accept or except , affect or effect, canvas or canvass, dissent or descent or decent – and many more ! Well, each one of us has faced such a situation at some point in our writing venture. Sometimes, the difference is in terms of whether  you want a noun or a verb – advice (to be used as a noun) and advise ( to be used as a verb). Sometimes, the difference lies in the usage of a word in a particular context – amicable (focus on friendly relationship between people) and amiable (focus on the person’s individual disposition). Most of the times, the difference can be easily perceived, but often when the meaning is clear, we end up using wrong words because of wrong spellings – an ‘a’ and an ‘e’ can confuse too ( as in stationary (at rest )  or stationery (writing paper and other materials) !!

So here is a list of commonly confusing words we come across in English.

Happy Learning !  🙂

Word Meaning Sentence
 Aberrant Departing from an accepted standard When the astronomer looked into the telescope, he was shocked by the sight of a star moving in an aberrant path.
 Abhorrent Inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant, loathsome When the citizens learned about the abhorrent crime, they screamed for justice outside the police station.
The abhorrent individual was spurned by his fellow citizens because of his aberrant behavior.

                           

Abjure To give up belief or activity, renounce, relinquish, reject After the tyrant took over the country, the citizens had to abjure their political beliefs.
Adjure Urge or request (someone) solemnly or earnestly to do something. He adjured the editor to cease posting silly articles.
The minister adjured his wayward congregation to abjure the sins of the flesh.

                          

Amoral Lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something. Hugh grew up to be an amoral man because his parents never told him the difference between right and wrong.
Immoral Not conforming to or violating the accepted standards of morality. They considered colonialism to be immoral.
Sometimes it seems more shocking to be amoral than to be immoral.

  

Appraise Assess the value or quality of. His merits in this respect, however, can only be appraised by the study of his works at first hand.
Apprise Inform or tell (someone). Each week, the teachers apprise parents of their students’ progress by emailing grade reports.
After we have the jeweler appraise the diamond, we will apprise you of its value.

  

Averse Having a strong dislike of or opposition to something. As a former CIA director, he is not averse to secrecy.
Adverse Preventing success or development; harmful; unfavorable. Taxes are having an adverse effect on production.
I am averse to traveling in such adverse weather conditions.

    

Allude Suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at. The teacher asked the students to not allude to any online sources in their research papers.
Elude Escape from or avoid (a danger, enemy, or pursuer), typically in a skillful or cunning way. He tried to elude the security men by sneaking through a back door
She would often allude to her childhood, when she would elude her brothers in a game of hide-and-seek.

  

Alleviate Make (suffering, deficiency, or a problem) less severe. To alleviate hunger in our town, each employee of our company donated five cans of food.
Ameliorate Make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better Not only did he ameliorate your grades, but he also found a way to enjoy learning.
Government agencies tried to alleviate the effects of the depression. They attempted to ameliorate the job-seeking process.

   

Amicable Friendliness or goodwill between people or group It was a relatively amicable divorce and at least they remain on speaking terms.
Amiable A person’ friendly disposition One former roommate described him as amiable and talkative
With amiable people like them, it’s not unusual to have an amicable divorce.

    

Afflict To cause suffering or unhappiness, like what a disease does.(Focus on the sufferer) It’s also quite likely that he was afflicted with an eating disorder
Inflict To force pain or suffering with focus on the person/thing causing the suffering. More aggressive Five other men accused of taking part in the fight were convicted of hooliganism and inflicting light bodily injury.
I am afflicted with something terrible, so I inflict injuries upon others.

   

Canvas A strong, coarse unbleached cloth made from hemp, flax, or a similar yarn, used to make items such as sails and tents and as a surface for oil painting. The painting is oil on canvas.
Canvass Solicit votes from (electors or members). In each ward, two workers canvassed some 2,000 voters.
We wore canvas shoes while we tried to canvass the entire neighborhood.

Want to learn more of these words?

I found an excellent site for such words. You can learn more such words here

Kingdom of Words

How many of you are of the view that English is not a technical language and that it is just a language of expression ? Well, nobody can deny the fact that all languages are medium of expressing one’s thoughts – English being one of them -but it does not end there. English is a highly technical language –  similar to all the 22 officially recognized languages in India and ‘God-knows-how-many‘ across the world. Every language has its set of technicalities and a systematic & structured approach. When you read a well structured article or a novel, you can easily understand the flow of ideas and views of the author, because he has interwoven his thoughts into words in a systematic,coherent manner. His ideas have a well defined path – not just roaming around. Following the same path, the author’s words enter your mind and get deeply engraved in it.

Just like there are various ways to solve a mathematical sum, there are numerous approaches to writing in English. I am not suggesting that only one of them is correct. The aim here is to get one’s ideas deeply engraved in the minds of the reader ( just like aim in maths is to get the answer ). Since, English is also a steadily evolving language, people have the privilege to experiment with their approaches in writing. We can enjoy the best of both worlds ! We do not have to restrict ourselves to rules all the time !

So keep experimenting and exploring the language with your own devised ways ! As for the technical part – here is a list of classes in which words are divided – often confused words ! In the future posts, I will introduce a new section – ‘Most Confused Words’ – a list of words that are most confused in English.

Happy Learning ! 🙂

Homophones – A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling.
 Same pronunciation
 Different meanings
 Different/Same spellings (homophones with same spellings are homonyms)

(Same spellings)
We saw a grizzly bear while vacationing in the mountains.
I can’t bear this burden any longer.

(Different spellings)
My son is presently in the military.
The sun is hidden behind the clouds.

Homonyms – Same words with same spelling and same pronunciation but have different meanings when used in different contexts.
 Same pronunciation
 Different meanings
 Same spellings
e.g. A bear (the animal) can bear (tolerate) very cold temperatures.

Homographs
 Different pronunciation
 Different meanings
 Same spelling

e.g. Wind: I need to wind the alarm clock so I can fly my kite in the early morning gusty wind.

e.g. Desert as in dry climate vs Desert as in leaving alone(they are pronounced differently)

Capitonyms

 Same spelling
  Different meanings on capitalization

e.g. May: In May(month), when spring is almost over, I may(auxiliary verb) pack away my winter clothes.

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Build Your Vocabulary Part – 8

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Well, since the inception of my ‘Build your Vocabulary’ posts, I have been reiterating the fact that English is a diverse and evolved language, comprising of humongous number of words – many of its own and many borrowed from other languages. I had been focusing only on the quantity – but today I wish to talk about the power a word can have, on your mood, on your relationships, on your life and on you. It might be difficult to believe that words have tremendous power to change situations. A word of cheer can lift your mood, a word of trust can enliven your relationship, and a word of wisdom can give a whole new meaning to your life and change you as a person. Similarly, on the darker side, careless choice of words can be hurtful and dangerous. I intend not to scare you but to make you privy to the enormous power words have and encourage you to harness the power in the best interests of all.A marketing company’s tagline captures the essence of my message- Choose Wisely, Live Well !

Happy Learning ! 🙂

Word Meaning Sentence
Predilection Bias, a preference or special liking for something Your predilection for employees from you native state is pretty evident.
Diabolic Characteristic of the devil, Mephistophelian, wicked, fiendish, malevolent, The diabolical expression on his face was noticeable after he committed the crime.
Syncretic The combination of different forms of belief or practice Religious syncretism is at the heart of a diversified world.
Pique A feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, especially to one’s pride. Arouse interest or curiosity He was left in a fit of pique when he was denied entry to the prestigious award ceremony.  Hopefully the movie trailer will pique the interest of moviegoers and motivate them to buy tickets to see the film.
Staunch very loyal and committed in attitude Since the two countries are staunch allies it is not surprising they will work together in the war to defeat their shared enemy.
Aplomb Calm self confidence Antonyms : gaucheness Being an orator par excellence, he can deliver any speech with aplomb.
Consonance Agreement, harmony, concord, accord Consonance among all the members of a team, leads to a better performance.
Partisan Prejudiced in favor of a particular cause. Because of your partisan views, you are unwilling to look at other options.
Moratorium A temporary prohibition of an activity. Potential business owners are angry because the county has passed a moratorium on new business licenses.
Clemency Mercy, lenience In their letter to the governor, the victim’s family asked him not to give clemency to their son’s murderer.
Salubrious Healthy, pleasant Vegetables are salubrious foods which provide essential nutrients.
indefatigable Tireless, (of efforts) persisting tirelessly The director of the homeless shelter is an indefatigable woman who works almost eighteen hours every day.
Pastoral A work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life. The story, though a pastoral, has an actual connection with the life of agricultural labor.
Lingua franca  (Italian origin) A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. The official language and de facto lingua franca of this country is the English language.
De facto  (Latin origin) In Latin, it means ‘of fact’ Existing or holding a specified position in fact but not necessarily by legal right. The official language and de facto lingua franca of this country is the English language.
Obfuscation To deliberately make something confusing or difficult to understand The loan contract was filled with legal words meant to obfuscate trusting borrowers.
Intelligentsia Intellectuals or highly educated people as a group, especially when regarded as possessing culture and political influence. The intelligentsia of this country has a great influence on the government.
Stalemate a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check. The government has convened an all-party meeting on Monday to discuss ways to end the stalemate in Parliament.
Obduracy The quality of being obstinate, stubborn or intractable. Your obduracy on this deal has worsened the matter.
Buttress A source of defense or support. Increase the strength or justification for, reinforce After the humiliating way his girlfriend dumped him, his friends rallied to his side to act as a buttress to his deflated ego.
dissidence Protest against official policy The dissident ministers opposed the newly passed bill.
Dissension Disagreement that leads to discord. This maneuver caused dissension within feminist ranks
Cadence Measure or beat of movement A consistent rhythm or beat We were happy when our fast-talking professor started to speak in a slow cadence we could understand.
Perfidy The state of being deceitful and untrustworthy. If you do business with criminals, you should not be shocked when their perfidy comes back to you in the form of a bullet in the back.
Cabal A secret political clique or faction. The cabal of dissident employees is plotting against the executive group.
Cantankerous Bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative. He can be a cantankerous old fossil at times. (Here, fossil means a person who is outdated and resistant to change.)
Aspersion An attack on the reputation or the integrity of someone or something, calumny I don’t think anyone is casting aspersions on you.
Maim Wound or injure so that a part of the body is permanently damaged Jake is an irresponsible driver who will most likely take a life or maim someone eventually.

Build Your Vocabulary – Part 7

Words

Ahh !! Such diversity of words in one language !!

The extent to which the language has evolved is astonishing and at the same time intriguing. Here  I present to you the 7th edition of the vocabulary building tutorial.

Happy Learning and discovering !! 🙂

Word Meaning Sentence
Perspicacious Having a ready insight into and understanding of things. Many perspicacious investors sold their tech stocks long before the market crashed.
Magnum Opus A work of art, music, or literature that is regarded as the most important or best work that an artist, composer, or writer has produced. Origin : Latin This film is going to be the magnum opus of the director.
Complicity The fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong. They were accused of complicity in an attempt to overthrow the government.
Logjam Situation that seems irresolvable. The CEO of the company has a power to break any logjam in financial issues.
Truculent Eager or quick to argue or fight; aggressively defiant. The truculent attitude of students during strike was justifiable.
Opprobrium Harsh criticism or censure. The alleged complicity of the actor in betting brought opprobrium from his fans.
Insouciant Showing a casual lack of concern. Because Bill is insouciant and not concerned about his retirement, he does not worry about saving money.
Budge Make or cause to make the slightest movement The opposition is refusing to budge on its stand against the ruling party.
Dossier A collection of documents about a particular person, event, or subject. The government will soon release dossiers containing the evidence of a planned protest against the government by the opposition.
Tome A book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one. I prefer reading novels to tomes.
Cuckold (of a man) make (another man) a cuckold by having a sexual relationship with his wife. In the novel, the protagonist cuckolds his employer.
Motif A dominant or recurring idea in an artistic work.A decorative image or design, especially a repeated one forming a pattern. Unrequited love is a frequent motif in the playwright’s works.
Duress Threats, violence, constraints, or other action used to coerce someone into doing something against their will or better judgement. The judge overturned the case because the defendant’s attorney proved that his client’s confession had been given under duress.
Musing Characterized by reflection or deep thought She was looking over the sea with sad, musing gaze. She missed him.
Beleaguer Put in a very difficult situation The board is supporting the beleaguered director.
Nemesis A downfall caused by an inescapable agent. The enemy which constantly causes problems The whole world witnessed the nemesis of the country whose sole nemesis was poor governance
Renege Go back on a promise, undertaking, or contract. The government had reneged on its election promises.
Heteronormative Denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation. We used to live in a heteronormative culture but things are changing now.
Churlishness Deliberately rude behavior Although she is a beautiful and talented actress, she has a reputation for being churlish and difficult to get along with.
Fractious Irritable and quarrelsome. They fight like fractious children.
Debunk Expose the falseness or hollowness of (an idea or belief) to reveal the inaccuracies associated with a belief The scientist hoped to debunk the genetic theory by completing his own research.
Jingoism Extreme patriotism for one’s country that often shows itself through aggression towards other nations The dictator’s jingoism caused him to constantly rant about his nation’s superiority while threatening his rivals with war.
Tantalize Torment or tease (someone) with the sight or promise of something that is unobtainable. Excites one’s senses or desires. Since I am on a diet, I must ignore the tantalizing smells coming from the bakery.
Desperado A desperate or reckless person, especially a criminal. No one could believe that the decently dressed man was a desperado.
Livid Furiously angry After sitting in the airport for nine hours, I was livid when I learned my flight would be delayed another six hours.
Contestation The action or process of disputing or arguing There is a global contestation over the distribution of natural resources.
Annulled Declared invalid ( an official agreement, decision or result ) The elections were annulled by the general amid renewed protests.
Profligate Recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources. Licentious and dissolute During the mayor’s campaign, he swore to put an end to profligate government spending.
Bootleg Make, distribute, or sell (alcoholic drink or a recording) illegally. Government has to enforce measures to curtail bootlegging.
Hooch Alcoholic drink, especially inferior or illicit whisky. Prohibition of liquor in a state will lead to larger number of deaths due to hooch tragedies.
Pacifist A person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable. She was a committed pacifist all her life.

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Foreign Words in English – Spanish

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Hola Amigos !!

Here I am with my 2nd Edition of Foreign words – this time exploring the Spanish lexicon, and I must tell you this venture has been as exciting and revealing as the French voyage…..

About the language :

Spanish is one of the most popular languages in the world, next to Mandarin Chinese and English. Approximately 425 million people worldwide use Spanish as their primary means of communication. Mandarin Chinese has around 880 million users and English has around 400 million. Spanish is a romance language and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.Spanish is the official language in about 20 countries.

Well, to my great surprise and astonishment, I came across words of Spanish origin that are so common in our day to day conversation, that I did not even enlist them with their meaning and example sentences. It would be like defining what an apple is, or what a car is…..For e.g. Following words have Spanish origin :

Cannibal Marijuana
Chocolate Platinum
Cockroach Tobacco
Dengue Tornado
Hurricane Vanilla
Mosquito Tomato
Cargo Potato
Plaza

Now you tell me , do I need to define these ? 😉

That is the extent of diversity of the English language. It is breath-taking !!

Now, here is the list of often used in English but Spanish –originated words with their meanings and example sentences !!Make them a part of your creative piece to give it a distinct, Spanish touch.

Buena Suerte !!

( Good Luck )

Spanish – originated Word Meaning Sentence
Adios Goodbye Anyway, adios and good luck!
Aficionado A person who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about an activity, connoisseur Since she is a Sudoku aficionado, she finds it very easy to pass time when she is traveling all by herself.
Amigo used to address or refer to a friend I’ll do my best. Adios, amigo!
Barbecue A meal or gathering at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked out of doors on a rack over an open fire or on a special appliance. We were invited to a barbecue by our neighbors at their farm house.
Bonanza A situation which creates a sudden increase in wealth, good fortune, or profits. Publicity seekers know that festival can provide a bonanza of media coverage.
Breeze (old Spanish + Portuguese) A gentle wind. Tantalizing cooking smells wafted on the evening breeze.
Cafeteria A restaurant in which customers serve themselves from a counter and pay before eating. We will spend Wednesday evening at the nearby cafeteria.
Stampede Sudden rapid movement or reaction of a mass of people in response to a particular circumstance or stimulus. Several casualties were reported due to a stampede at the public event.
Embargo An official ban on trade or other commercial activity with a particular country. An official ban on an activity There is a complete embargo on taking photographs in court.
Fiesta An event marked by festivities or celebration. Revelers throw tomatoes during the annual tomato fight fiesta. The main aspect of any fiesta is the food.
Guerilla A member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces. This town fell to the guerrillas.
Macho Masculine in an overly assertive or aggressive way. Let’s not say that guys don’t hurt or feel broken hearted. They are human and they get hurt, but in keeping with the macho image, they hide the pain.
Nada nothing They searched the suspect’s house but got nada.
Peccadillo A relatively minor fault or sin. Unless you’re perfect, you should never complain about a peccadillo of someone else.
Pronto Promptly, quickly Put the vegetables in the refrigerator, pronto!
Renegade A person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles. When Clara learned her law firm was trying to hide important evidence, she became a renegade and joined the opposing legal team.
Savvy Shrewdness and practical knowledge, especially in politics or business. He is tech-savvy. We’re looking for some computer-savvy people to work for us
Vertigo a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness. when a person feels like they are moving when they are not. Once he was at the top of the mountain, he suffered from vertigo.

                      

Foreign Words In English – French

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Starting a new endeavor, I bring to you my latest edition of foreign words which will enrich your exotic vocabulary and will give you an insight into different foreign words (and their origin), which are widely used in English. Use them in your writing and let the words do wonder for you!

For the first edition, I have listed the French-origin words commonly used in English.

About the language :

French is one of the worlds great languages, rivalled only by English as the language of international society and diplomacy.Besides in France itself, French can be heard in several other European countries, widely throughout Africa, and also in various dependencies. In addition, it is the unofficial second language of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and many others.It is the mother tongue of about 75 million people, with millions more familiar with it as a second language.French is one of the romance languages, descended from Latin. A number of dialects initially emerged but history favoured the North and Parisian French gained ascendancy over the others.In the 17th – 19th centuries French was pre-eminent as an international language, though it has been eclipsed by English in the 20th.

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During my analysis and reading to prepare this list, I came across many familiar French words which I thought had English origin. So the entire exercise had its own surprising moments.

Get ready to get surprised and start giving a French touch to your writing by incorporating these words at the right place to convey the apt meaning.

Avoir du plaisir à apprendre !

( I hope that means ‘ Have fun learning !’ in French – if not , feel free to correct me)

French-originated Word Meaning Usage
à la carte On the menu.

In restaurants, it refers to ordering individual dishes rather than fixed priced meals

The restaurant provides three course dinner à la carte on Wednesday evening
Adieu good-bye, farewell The entire school gathered in the auditorium to bid adieu to the principal.
Avant-garde The pioneers or innovators in art in a particular period Because the new tower has an avant-garde design, it does not fit in with the historical buildings in the square.
Bête noire A person or thing that one particularly dislikes or avoids. Jane was his . He always tried to avoid her.
Agent provocateur A person employed to induce others to break the law so that they can be convicted. He acted as an agent provocateur, instigating the mob for violent protest.
Carte Blanche complete freedom to act as one wishes. The architect was given carte blanche to design the restaurant by the restaurateur.
Déjà vu a feeling of having already experienced the present situation. I felt a sense of déjà vu when I walked down that lane.
En route On the way I am en route for the meeting at my office.
Esprit de corps feeling of pride and mutual loyalty shared by the members of a group The team under Jaden has no unity and no spirit de corps.
Fait accompli a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it. Accepting the change as a fait accompli, the best we could do was to adjust ourselves according to the change.
Faux pas an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation The designer committed a fashion faux pas at a recent fashion event by wearing a dress made of leaves.
Haute Couture expensive, fashionable clothes produced by leading fashion houses. She inaugurated her new store that would make haute couture accessible to common people.
Laissez-faire abstention by governments from interfering in the workings of the free market.

the policy of leaving things to take their own course, without interfering.

Small business owners are happiest when the government maintains its laissez-faire management style and stays out of their affairs.
Nouveau riche people who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste. He was nouveau riche, but nobody knew how he amassed such great wealth.
RSVP Please respond (to my message). Literally the abbreviation of ‘Répondez, s’il vous plaît’. Please send an RSVP request to all the guests, so that I can estimate the number of guests attending the wedding.
Vis-a-vis In relation to Many agencies now have a unit to deal with women’s needs vis-à-vis employment.
Cliché a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought. When will she come up with a new phrase and stop using that cliché in all her social media posts?
Gaffe An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder. Keeping abreast of fashion trends ensures that one does not make a social gaffe in interacting with one’s peers.
Panache flamboyant confidence of style or manner. She always wears her stylish outfits with panache.
Rapprochement (Especially in international affairs) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations. The rapprochement talks between the two nations are in progress.
Soirée An evening party or gathering I have been invited to a soiree at her home on Wednesday.
Raison d’être The most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence. The company‘s raison d’être is to provide cheaper mobiles to the public.
Saboteur a person who engages in sabotage. She will go down as the chief saboteur of the monarchy.
Gourmet a connoisseur of good food; a person with a discerning palate.

Of a kind or standard suitable for a gourmet.

He was a celebrated gourmet, who travelled all around the world tasting all types of gourmet food..
burlesque An absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work; a parody. He has written a novel which is a burlesque of the literary life
Chauffeur Driver She always preferred a chauffeured driven limousine.
Élan A distinctive flair or style He performed with elan without getting scared of a packed auditorium.
Pince nez A type of spectacles without temple arms One of the distinctive characterization details of Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’ was the pince-nez he wore.

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Silhouette The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background. She paused to see the church’s silhouette against the dimming sky
Charlatan a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill. The charlatan tried to deceive people into thinking he was a minister collecting donations for the poor.
Vignette a brief evocative description, account, or episode.

Design on a book page

Her novel is a classy vignette of contemporary life.
Belles lettres essays, particularly on literary and artistic criticism, written and read primarily for their aesthetic effect. The emergence of a literature of belles-lettres reflected the success of the colonies
Pirouette an act of spinning on one foot, typically with the raised foot touching the knee of the supporting leg. The dancer fell down while attempting a pirouette during the dance.

pirouette

Silhouette of a dancer attempting a pirouette !!

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Resumé a written summary of your education, work experience, and achievements; also known as a ‘curriculum vitae’ (CV) Please ask him to forward me his resume. I will have a look and then let you know whether this job suits him.
Facade The front part of the building that faces the street

 

a deceptive outward appearance.

Behind that facade of indifference, there’s a very nice person.
Camarederie Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. Because of the camaraderie they shared, the soldiers trusted each other with their lives.

Build Your Vocabulary Part – 6

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For the enthusiast readers and authors, here is the 6th edition of vocabulary tutorial – more words to add to your dictionary !

Happy learning !

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Word Meaning Sentence
Debauched Characterized by excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol or drugs His father did not approve of his son’s  debauched lifestyle.
Salacious Conveying indecent interest in sexual matters, obscene This novel had salacious content.
Whet A thing that stimulates appetite or desire. The delicious food laid at the table whetted my appetite.
Gumption Shrewd or spirited  initiative and resourcefulness Although he was well paid he had the gumption to ask for a raise.
Grit Courage and resolve, strength of character Grit, perseverance and determination are imperative qualities for succeeding in any field.
Gormandize Eat good food, especially in excess “Don’t gormandize at the party ! Don’t make a pig of yourself !”
Eerie Strange, frightening The door made an eerie sound at night.
Obeisance Deferential respect In my family, we say a prayer before each meal to show obeisance and thanks.
Gory Involving or showing violence and bloodshed The king captured the northern territory after  defeating his enemy in a gory battle.
Agog Very eager or curious to hear or see something They were all agog for the exam results.
Banal, trite, hackneyed Lacking in originality, overused Eventually, the saying has become so hackneyed that people have stopped using it.
Abstemious Indulging very moderately in something, like food or drink. Following his mother’s order, Jaden was abstemious at dinner.
Saturnine Gloomy, morose, sad and solemn

(ant. Sanguine )

The dog’s eyes became saturnine whenever his owner left the house.
Fanatical Filled with excessive and single-minded zeal His wife was fanatical about tidiness.
Heresy Opinions profoundly different from dogmatic or orthodox views, deviation from a dominant theory or opinion Just because an idea is new does not mean it is heresy.
Beatific Feeling or expressing blissful happiness Her beatific smile hides all the troubles she has been going through.
Blustery Characterized by strong winds, tempestuous The blustery student is difficult for the teachers to handle
anathema something or someone that one vehemently dislikes Reading classics is an anathema to me.
inveterate having a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change. He is an inveterate gambler who spends all his money in gambling.
frisson A sudden feeling of excitement or fear, thrill. I felt a frisson just as they were about to announce the winner in my category.
superaanuated Outdated, obsolete, old fashioned Often they are forced to write about superannuated celebrities in preference to fresh talent.
entourage A group of people surrounding or attending to an important person An entourage of royal advisors always followed the king.
accrued accumulate or receive (payments or benefits) over time. Loans accrue interests.
unbridled unrestrained The girls danced with unbridled enthusiasm after winning the competition.

Build your Vocabulary Part -5

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Want to make your writing skills exotic !! Here’s the key 🙂

In continuation with my ‘Build your Vocabulary’ category, I introduce the 5th chapter, filled with interesting English and some Latin words too ! Watch this space for more foreign words that are yet to come.

 

Word Meaning Sentence
euphemism a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. He used a euphemism to disguise his real feelings about the incident.
Parody an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. His dexterity in making comical parody of different movie actors is commendable.
Non sequitur (Latin) a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement. His poem is filled with metaphors and non sequiturs.
verbiage excessively lengthy or technical speech or writing, confused, the way in which something is expressed; wording or diction. When writing an essay, you should focus more on providing facts and less on stuffing the paper with verbiage.
Sine qua non (Latin) an essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary. Fruits are sine qua non of my morning breakfast
specious Misleading, superficially plausible but wrong, deceptive The intruder tried to give the authorities a specious excuse regarding his presence in the building.
caveat Premonition, warning , caution
LAW:a notice, especially in a probate, that certain actions may not be taken without informing the person who gave the notice.
The caveat of the contract includes a penalty fee if the loan is not repaid on time.
bedrock Fundamental principles on which something is based Faith and peace is the bedrock of every religion.
sanctimonious making a show of being morally superior to other people. My sanctimonious aunt tends to look down upon people who do not go to church every Sunday.
tawdry showy but cheap , of poor quality Although Aunt Eloise had lots of money, she always wore such tawdry jewellery.
protégé (French + Latin origin) One whose welfare, training, or career is promoted by an influential person. The relationship between mentor and protégé has been a defining factor in the success of countless artists in the field of cinema.
voyeur a person who gains sexual pleasure from watching others when they are naked or engaged in sexual activity.
A person who enjoys seeing others in pain or distress.
The biographer is always something of a voyeur and burglar.
hiatus a small pause break in continuity in sequence or activity After Mary had a baby, she took a brief hiatus from work.
vociferous expressing or characterized by vehement opinions. The protestors were vociferous as they screamed outside of the government building.
brunt worst part or chief impact of a specified action Young teachers are more likely to bear the brunt of increasing parental expectations.
fount source The fount for all the troubles in the country is the corruption deeply rooted in the system.
deem regarded or considered The event was deemed a great success.
pliant easily influenced The pliant head led his company to downfall because of his indecisiveness and gullible nature.
remit task assigned officially to a person or group The remit of the committee is to punish the guilty and bring reforms in the working of the autonomous body.
grist useful material, especially to support an argument. The research provided the most sensational grist for opponents of tobacco
bait annoy or taunt someone The other boys revelled in baiting him about his love of literature.
unsavoury unpleasant. disagreeable because morally disreputable. He has an unsavoury reputation owing to his unscrupulous demeanor.
cauldron A situation characterized by instability and strong emotions. A cauldron of anger and remorse gripped the city after the actor’s death.

Build Your Vocabulary

Sometimes, we can’t think of words that exactly describe our feelings – we might use a big sentence to pen down what we think, but if we can consolidate our thoughts in one word, the impact is far reaching and the writer is said to have come of age.

Here is a list of words with their meanings and example sentences which regularly appear in editorials and articles but we don’t know their exact meaning. Treat yourself to this pool of English words and use them in your creative writing piece to enhance the reading experience without overburdening the reader.

Disclaimer: Some example sentences are figment of my imagination, and some are directly taken from the editorial/articles from where I have picked the word. Nowhere, I have expressed my personal opinion.

Word Meaning Sentence
Fiefdom an organization or real estate, owned or controlled by one dominant person or group Sushma Swaraj cited figures to argue that the new government’s hands-on foreign policy was the result of team work and wasn’t any individual’s fiefdom.
Pariah Outcast No Indian PM has so far visited Israel, a country usually considered as pariah due to the fears of a backlash from Islamic nations and the Muslim community.
Iconoclastic Attacking/criticizing  traditional beliefs But the Modi government has revealed that it is going to fashion its foreign policy in an iconoclastic manner
Fashion (verb) to make into a particular form But the Modi government has revealed that it is going to fashion its foreign policy in an iconoclastic manner.
burgeon begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish We go on a whirlwind ride with Kangana’s wild-child Tanu and her quiet and burgeoning from everywhere husband Manu (Madhavan).
Libertarian A political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement. The free will which Leibnitz teaches is not libertarian but determinist.
Capsizing (of a boat) Overturned in water Pregnancy kept capsizing my relationship with my wife and I was struggling to stay afloat
Banter the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks Origin Of emoticon:

The emoji was invented in 1982, as a group of Carnegie Mellon researchers were using an online bulletin board to joke about what would happen if their building’s elevator cable were cut. Realising that this banter might be take a morbid(unpleasant) turn if read literally, they invented the “:)” to clear up the fact that they were only messing around.

                                Gauche Unsophisticated & socially awkward Invented only three decades back, emojis (emoticons) are seen today as non-standard and, in fact, decidedly gauche.
Palpable readily or plainly seen, heard, perceived, etc.; obvious; evident:

Capable of being touched

The sense of disgust is clearly palpable as the womb was seen as the “source of all disease” and women were said to “leak menstrual blood, sexual lubricant, lochial discharge after giving birth, and yeast infections (leucorrhea).”
Privy Sharing in the knowledge of I haven’t really read the excerpts of that book. Also I am not privy to any private conversation between two individuals. I have not heard about this before and I have no idea what happened and I would not want to make any comment,” Dravid commented to the press during the rehashing of the controversy surrounding the 2007 World Cup.
Belittle To make something less important, depreciate Re-iterating his speech in Mathura on the day the government completed its first year in office, Modi also hit out at the opposition and accused them of belittling the government’s achievements.
Reiterate To say something again and again, repeat for emphasis or clarity Modi reiterated his speech in Mathura in an interview to DNA
acolytes A person who assists the celebrant in the performance of liturgical rites.

A devoted follower or attendant.

Modi’s statement is intended to camouflage what goes on as a routine business by his government and Sangh Parivar acolytes,” he said.
Schizophrenic Something relating to a mental disorder characterized by hallucinations,delusions, and conflicting personalities “I was going schizophrenic because I was doing Marathi dialect training for my role as Kashibai in Bajirao Mastani and American dialect training simultaneously. I was losing my mind and forgot what I was supposed to sound like,” said Priyanka.
Impunity Exemption from punishment,penalty or harm,with no care or heed for consequences The impunity with which doctors give LGBTs shock therapy shows why gay-sex ban must go
Pander To cater to the lower castes and desires of other or exploit their weakness The action by Naz Foundation follows an expose by a media house that showed  several doctors in New Delhi peddling alleged cures for homosexuality, pandering to the assumption that it is a disease.
Nostalgic experiencing or exhibiting nostalgia, a sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time, or situation. I was feeling nostalgic when I visited my school after 10 years.
Xenophobia dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries Racism and xenophobia are staedily growing in Europe.
       Mirth amusement, especially as expressed in laughter As FIFA gets rid of its controversial president, mirth ensues on Twitter.
Racketeering criminal activity that is performed to benefit an organization such as a crime syndicate. Examples of racketeering activity include extortion, money laundering, loan sharking, obstruction of justice and bribery. Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as FIFA president just five days ago, amidst corruption charges swirling around the world football body as former FIFA vice-president, Jack Warner, current vice presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo were among those arrested last week on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering conspiracies.
Vagabond a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job For four years, he led a vagabond life.
Unabated Without any reduction in strength or intensity Global warming, caused by an unabated use of fossil fuels, is bound to increase average temperatures everywhere.
Jinx A person or thing that is believed to bring bad luck. Some planned exchanges by Indian defence ministers to Israel did not materialise and Moshe Ya’alon broke this jinx when he came for the Aero Show in February this year.
vis-à-vis in relation to; with regard to At the same time, Modi cannot ignore domestic criticisms over Israel’s policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians.
Schism a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief. Modi also would be aware of the internal schism that haunts the Palestinians: President Abbas travels world over but for since taking office in 2005 he was unable to set foot on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the other part of Palestine.
Nonchalant feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm The nonchalant attitude by the police to the bus burning has got a few people in Ramsay Street talking.
Moot subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty A half-way solution, said Gupta, could lie in getting the food industry to produce vitamin fortified food. “The children are not going to stop eating junk food,” she said. “The least we can do is make it more healthy to consume.” What happens then if Lays makes multivitamin enriched chips? And Coca Cola makes an iron fortified Pepsi? It’s a moot question.
Petrichor a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. Other than the petrichor emanating from the rapidly drying grass, there was not a trace of evidence that it had rained at all
Bucolic Relating to the pleasantness of the countryside and country life The farmhouse was giving a bucolic feeling

A bucolic poen/verse

apparition A ghost or a ghost like image of a person In my childhood, my grandma used to read to me stories of ghost. The apparition described by her used to haunt me for days.
rambunctious Uncontrollably exuberant ,boisterous The rambunctious dogs played in the park.
nifty Skillful, attractive, stylish A nifty jewelry piece
rummage search unsystematically and untidily through something. I rummaged in my bag for my phone.

He rummaged in his pocket for handkerchief

infallible incapable of making mistakes or being wrong, never failing ,always effective Ayurvedic cures might be slow in showing their effects but they are infallible.
blithely Casual, happy and carefree I blithely played in the pool , knowing Sajal is there to watch over me(to carefully watch /guard)
Bludgeon Thick stick with a heavy end.

beat (someone) repeatedly with a bludgeon or other heavy object.

She was found bludgeoned to death in the basement
Traction The act of drawing or pulling, especially  by motive power

The action of drawing a body, vehicle, train, or the like, along a surface.

The government has not yet realized that an economy as large as India’s needs time and space to pick up traction.
Euphoria a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. There is an air of eyes shut make believe in this government’s first year euphoria.
Penchant a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something He has a penchant for pet dogs.
Recalcitrant Having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline While claiming that the “expectations from the Modi government were realistic”, Mr. Jaitley has put the blame on a recalcitrant Opposition, which, according to him, has put many a roadblock before the government’s efforts to fulfil its mandate.
Debilitating Making weak While shrinking winter-spans are considered by specialists as a sure sign that climate change is a reality we cannot ignore, at the other end of the spectrum, hot summers are no less debilitating.
aficionado A person who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about an activity, connoisseur Since she is a Sudoku aficionado, she finds it very easy to pass time when she is traveling all by herself.
Scion A descendant of a notable family The scion of the Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi has a great responsibility on his shoulders to uphold the reputation of his family.
Petulant  ill-tempered, irritable She is not liked by many because of her petulant demeanor.
Capricious Unpredictable changes of mood and behavior,unpredictable,impuslive His capricious business decisions led to his downfall.