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Jun 6, 2016
This week’s theme
Words that have changed

This week’s words
ingenuous
specious
purblind
feisty
officious

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Claude Shannon, the man known as the father of information theory. His contributions in the field laid the groundwork for the modern computer.

But did you know he married a computer? A computer named Betty Moore? Well, in those days a computer was a human and so was a calculator. If you wanted to use a fancy term, you might call them a numerical analyst.

The world changes and language changes with it. This week we’ll see five words that have changed. Over time all words change to some degree, but the words featured this week have taken remarkable turns.

ingenuous

PRONUNCIATION:
(in-JEN-yoo-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Guileless; innocent; frank; naive.

ETYMOLOGY:
The word literally means free-born. The earlier meaning of the word was noble or honorable as a free-born or native person was supposed to be. Over time the word shifted to its current meaning. From Latin ingenuus (native, free-born), from in- (into) + gignere (to beget). Earliest documented use: 1598. A related word is ingenue.

USAGE:
“Clementine is an ingenuous third-grader with a good heart and a particular talent for finding herself in trouble.”
Sarah Hunter; Ramona Quimby’s Cousins; The Booklist (Chicago); Jul 2014.

See more usage examples of ingenuous in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Fearing no insult, asking for no crown, receive with indifference both flattery and slander, and do not argue with a fool. -Aleksandr Pushkin, poet, novelist, and playwright (6 Jun 1799-1837)

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