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Mar 20, 2014
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
acuity
desuetude
turgid
sciolism
edacity

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

sciolism

PRONUNCIATION:
(SY-uh-liz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: Pretentious display of superficial knowledge.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Late Latin sciolus (smatterer), diminutive of Latin scius (knowing), from scire (to know). Ultimately from the Indo-European root skei- (to cut or split), which also gave us schism, ski, shin, science, conscience, nice, scienter, nescient, exscind, and adscititious. Earliest documented use: 1810.

USAGE:
"This consists of some of the dullest sciolism in the history of prose, a standardized academic jargon and rhetoric, the dutiful rehearsal of received theory, and the deliberate misrepresentation of anything challenging or rejecting academic postmodernism."
Michael Donaghy; The Shape of the Dance; Picador; 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Life cannot be classified in terms of a simple neurological ladder, with human beings at the top; it is more accurate to talk of different forms of intelligence, each with its strengths and weaknesses. This point was well demonstrated in the minutes before last December's tsunami, when tourists grabbed their digital cameras and ran after the ebbing surf, and all the 'dumb' animals made for the hills. -B.R. Myers, author (b. 1963)

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