adjective mer·cu·ri·al | \ (ˌ)mər-ˈkyu̇r-ē-əl \ 1 of, relating to, or born under the planet Mercury 2 having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury 3 characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood 4 of, relating to, containing, or caused by mercury noun a pharmaceutical or chemical containing mercury
Bob does not have a mercurial personality. His wife describes him as “entirely predictable”.
noun cat·a·chre·sis | \ ˌka-tə-ˈkrē-səs \ plural catachreses\ ˌka-tə-ˈkrē-ˌsēz \ 1 use of the wrong word for the context 2 use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech (such as blind mouths)
Joe was oft unwitting, When choosing a word that’s fitting, And thinking that catachresis Was how to write out sneezes. Of course, the rest of us knew It was best to write “Katchoo!”
Be careful to avoid going down a mute alley while searching for the best chance to use today’s word. 😉
noun par·a·dox | \ ˈper-ə-ˌdäks, ˈpa-rə- \ 1 one (such as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases 2a a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true 2b a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true 2c an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises 3 a tenet contrary to received opinion
The hope associated with buying a lottery ticket is a paradox, considering the odds against winning.
adverb \ ˈad-ˈhäk, -ˈhōk, ˈäd-ˈhōk \ for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application adjective 1a concerned with a particular end or purpose 1b formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs 2 fashioned from whatever is immediately available : improvised
This is just an ad hoc sentence about today’s word.
verb nig·gle | \ ˈni-gəl \ niggled; niggling\ ˈni-g(ə-)liŋ \ intransitive verb 1a trifle 1b to spend too much effort on minor details 2 to find fault constantly in a petty way : carp she haggles, she niggles, she wears out our patience— Virginia Woolf 3 gnaw transitive verb to give stingily or in tiny portions noun chiefly British a trifling doubt, objection, or complaint
Henri wished he were a “broad strokes” kind of guy, but he simply could not avoid niggling over every comma in any document. His software documentation was woefully unfinished. It didn’t help at all that his first draft was always done with a quill.
verb in·doc·tri·nate | \ in-ˈdäk-trə-ˌnāt \ indoctrinated; indoctrinating transitive verb 1 to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle 2 to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments : teach
Bob never tried to indoctrinate his students at any time during his time as a teacher. He wished, instead, to expand their horizons.
Coming up with a workable illustration for “indoctrinate” was difficult.
I hope it works to have used an optical illusion.
It may well be a stretch as an appropriate illustration, but I think illusions try to “convince” us of something which isn’t true, though it may take some work to see through the illusion, like indoctrination.
verb ac·com·pa·ny | \ ə-ˈkəmp-nē, -ˈkämp-; -ˈkəm-pə-, -ˈkäm- \ accompanied; accompanying transitive verb 1 to go with as an associate or companion 2 to perform an accompaniment to or for 3a to cause to be in association 3b to be in association with intransitive verb music : to perform an accompaniment
Bob accompanied his beloved wife to her appointment.
noun ep·i·thet | \ ˈe-pə-ˌthet also -thət \ 1a a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing 1b a disparaging or abusive word or phrase 1c the part of a taxonomic name identifying a subordinate unit within a genus
Lefty smiled as he greeted his nearest neighbor with his traditional epithet, “Howdy, Hoss!”
adjective es·o·ter·ic | \ ˌe-sə-ˈter-ik, -ˈte-rik \ 1a designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone 1b requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group 2a limited to a small circle 2b private, confidential 3 of special, rare, or unusual interest
There is nothing esoteric about this sentence, except that it contains the word, of course.
noun bal·ance | \ ˈba-lən(t)s \ 1a physical equilibrium 1b the ability to retain one’s balance 2a stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis when the two sides of the scale are in balance 2b equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements
[Snipped the much longer definition entry from Merriam-Webster in the interest of space…or possibly to save time…or just being lazy.]
It is often tricky to achieve writing balance, somewhere between verbosity and concise clarity.