Lexicon Big Year: Apr 24

Apr 24: I don’t know many people these days who have read Kurt Vonnegut. Cat’s Cradle was one of his weirdest and in it he invented the word foma. Steven Poole describes foma as a “very useful term” meaning “harmless untruths,” the falsehoods we need in order “to be cheerful.” Oh, I’m aware that so many of my foundational notions are foma!

My word? One that I love but rarely see, the adjective rapacious, meaning “aggressively greedy or grasping.” For decades, I couldn’t believe anyone would work for a tobacco company. Now I feel the same about coal companies. Their rapaciousness bewilders me.

Source: A Word for Every Day of the Year by Steven Poole.

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