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Oct 10, 2011
This week's theme
Negative words

This week's words
disingenuous
picaresque
venal
miasma
vituperation

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

My hunch is -- I haven't counted -- there are more negative words in the English language than positive ones. Nothing wrong with that, though. We use language to describe the world, and we often talk about things that are unusual, out of the ordinary.

It's somewhat similar to newspapers. Some say that they mention only bad news, but that's the job of newspapers: to report what is not the norm.

This week's words are all negative. These words will be especially handy to describe your opponent if you are thinking about contesting an election.

disingenuous

PRONUNCIATION:
(dis-in-JEN-yoo-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Not being candid or sincere.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin dis- (apart, away) + ingenuus (honest, native, freeborn), from in- (in) + gignere (to beget). Earliest documented use: 1655.

USAGE:
"Christine Blower said it was disingenuous to say schools' budgets were being protected when posts were already under threat."
Hannah Richardson; Frontline Schools' Staff Facing Job Losses; BBC News (London, UK); Oct 8, 2010.

See more usage examples of disingenuous in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated. In Zazen neither intention, analysis, specific effort nor imagination take place. It's enough just to be without hypocrisy, dogmatism, arrogance -- embracing all opposites. -Taisen Deshimaru, Zen teacher (1914-1982)

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