Circumspect: (SUR-kuhm-spekt) adjective
Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences; prudent.
[Middle English, from Latin circumspectus, past participle of circumspicere, to take heed : circum-, + specere, to look.]
Now was no time to be circumspect. The seatbelt sign was off. Beju tapped the interesting-looking man in the aisle seat in row 27, jerked her head toward the unoccupied lavatory and winked.
As the man hurriedly tried to clear his tray table, Beju was already planning how to word her journal entry about joining the <i>Mile High Club</i> -- something she only recently heard about while at a <i>Retro Beanie Baby</i> trading party. -- N
Pusillanimous: (pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs) adjective
Lacking courage; cowardly.
[Middle English pusillanimus, from Late Latin pusillanimis : Latin pusillus, weak, diminutive of pullus, young of an animal + animus, reason, mind.]
He had a reputation for being the tough guy in the neighborhood, but Blake secretly loved to knit. His mother encouraged him to enter his bloody skull afghan design in the county fair. But, as usual, the pusillanimous teen refused because he feared his stature in the local gang would be diminished if anyone knew of his interest in yarn. -- N
Along with countless other people the world over, I enjoy my subscription to A. Word. A. Day. that results in a daily email message with interesting, sometimes completely unknown-to-me words, along with pronounciation guide, etymology typical usage and more.
The New York Times hailed AWADmail as: "The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."
One day way back when, I decided that for learning, it would be helpful and fun to use the words AWAD sent to me in a sentence or two. Of course I found myself going beyond that and using them in not-so-obvious ways that entertained my friends as well as myself. Sometimes I use words incorrectly on purpose. But if you know the meaning, you get the joke. It is kind of a backward way of doing things, but that's creativity, right?
The first character inspired by AWAD was Maraj (not her real name.) She has quite a few fans. At the encouragement of several persistent friends, I decided it was time to share her and the others with my new friends here at OS, and begin on the first day of 2010.
I'm offering vocabulary words I received from AWAD and what I wrote to practice using them. Tell me this isn't a much more fun way to work on improving one's vocabulary. Enjoy. Maraj and more will be back – and check out www.wordsmith.org to sign up for the free subscription. They don't know me, but for fun tell them I sent you. Like OS, it can be addictive. -- Natalie