Our blog explores all aspects of writing and proofreading, and passes along effective business writing tips. Do you have questions or concerns about workplace writing? Then join our discussion!
Luddite means someone opposed to change, especially technological change.
For example, “Keith mockingly referred to the new hire, who wrote his memos with a pen, refusing to type on a keyboard, as a Luddite.”
Many scholars think so. Without it, the history of the world would be drastically different. The alphabet was invented in Egypt around 2000 B.C. as a writing method to show the sounds of words. Its earliest readers read aloud and reading aloud continued to be the standard practice throughout ancient and medieval times. About 26 major alphabetic scripts are used worldwide. The English alphabet was handed down to us from the Romans (who only had 23 letters in their alphabet; it did not have a J, V, or W). Today, the English alphabet is the most popular script in the world, used by about 100 principal languages, 120 countries and nearly 2 billion people. Because an alphabet is so easy to learn, it became the vehicle of mass literacy, starting with the Egyptians back in 2000 B.C. It allowed farmers, shopkeepers and others of the humblest origins to read and write and, therefore, attain skills and knowledge that improved their lives.
Deportment means behavior, how you conduct yourself.
For example, “Keith’s deportment upon learning his proposal was rejected was less than stellar.”
T.S. Eliot once said, “Good writers borrow, great writers steal.” The English language was following that dictum centuries before Eliot was born. No fewer than 600,000 words have been used in English writing since the twelfth century. So where did they all come from? We, that is, English speakers since the dawn of the language, were very good at stealing them. For example, alcohol and alkali are from Arabic, amok from Malay, bizarre from Basque, okay from West Africa, taboo from Tahitian, and the list goes on and on and on. In 2018, the Oxford English Dictionary‘s latest update added 1,400 new words to the language, from bongga (Tagalog for impressive, excellent or stylish) to belly-bumper (a U.S. term for a head-first ride down a hill on a sled, though it was also used in the 17th century to denote a Rabelaisian womanizer). The English language is a living, constantly expanding organism—and how fun it is to watch it grow!
Secrete means to deposit or conceal in a hiding place.
For example, “Keith planned to secrete his sales forecast for next year in his executive assistant’s storage cabinet.”
Biannual means occurring twice a year or occurring every two years.
For example, “Keith enjoyed attending the biannual conference because it gave him a chance to get away from the office twice a year.”
Milieu means a person’s social or physical environment.
For example, “Keith’s business milieu turned negative when he refused to work overtime to complete a key customer project.”
Voracity means the quality or state of being ravenous or insatiable.
For example, “Keith’s voracity for sales data knew no bounds.”
Acolyte means a follower; one who attends or assists a leader.
For example, “Keith arrived at the meeting with one of his acolytes, an eager, newly hired intern.”
Halcyon means peaceful, happy, prosperous.
For example, “Keith fondly remembered the halcyon days of 2016 when his team broke all of the company’s sales records.”