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Vocabulary Addition #5
Posted:Apr 30, 2019 5:41 pm
Last Updated:Sep 12, 2019 7:02 pm
penury noun
1. extreme poverty
2. scarcity; insufficiency
Syn. indigence, need, want

obsequious adjective
1. servilely compliant or deferential
2. characterized by or showing servile compliance or deference
3. Archaic. dutiful, obedient

excoriate verb transitive
1. to strip off or remove the skin from
2. to denounce or berate severely; flay verbally

ingenue noun
1. the role an ingenuous girl, esp. as represented on the stage
2. an actress who plays such a role or or specializes in playing such roles

ingenuous adjective
1. free from reserve, restraint, or dissimulation
2. artless, innocent, naive

preternatural adjective
1. out of the ordinary course of nature; exceptional or abnormal
2. outside of nature; supernatural
Syn. unusual, extraordinary, unnatural
Ant. ordinary, usual

lede noun
alternative spelling of lead in the newspaper journalism sense, to distinguish this sense from other possible meanings of the written word, perhaps especially the molten lead used in typesetting machines

somniferous adjective
bringing on or inducing sleep, as drugs, influences, etc.

tumescent adjectuve
swelling; slightly tumid

tumid adjective
1. swollen or affected with swelling, as a part of the body
2. pompous or inflated, as language; turgid; bombastic
3. seeming to swell; bulging

exurb noun
a small, usually fashionable community situated beyond the suburbs of a city

I came across these words while reading "MR. NICE GUY" authored by Jennifer Miller & Jason Fiefer. Jennifer and Jason are married to each other.

From the back cover:
"Lucas Callahan gave up his law degree, financee, and small-town future for a shot at making it in the Big Apple. He snags an entry-level job at Empire magazine, believing it's only a matter of time before he becomes a famous writer. And then late one night in a downtown bar he meets a gorgeous brunette who takes him home...

Carmen Kelly wanted to be a hard-hitting journalist, only to find herself cast in the role of Empire's sex columnist, thanks to the boys' club mentality of Manhattan magazines. Her latest piece is about an unfortunate - and unsatisfying - encounter with an awkward and nerdy guy, who was nice enough to look at but horribly inexperienced in bed.

Lucas only discovers that he's slept with the infamous Carmen Kelly- that is, his own magazine's sex columnist! - when he hreads her printed takedown. Humiliated and furious, he pens a rebuttal and signs it "Nice Guy". Empire publishes it, and the pair of columns go viral. Readers demand more. So the magazine makes an arrangement: Each week, Carmen and Lucas will sleep together... and write dueling accounts of their sexual exploits.

It's the most provocative sexual relationship any couple has had, but the columnist-lovers are soon engaging in more than a war of words: In the end, they will have to choose between ambition, love, and the consequences of total honesty."

This quote from Sofia, a contract photographer in the novel caught my attention.
' "I'm a contract photographer. I might as well be working for the Sears catalog. It doesn't matter. My work isn't who I am.
"When all of your passion goes into your work, what's left for, I don't know, passion? Most people I know - most women especially - aren't really living. They're singularly focused on the end game: the best job, the best man, and so on. They spend all their days slamming doors shut instead of throwing them open. I'm sorry if I sound like a bitch, but that's sad." '

I like this snippet from the novel. Context: Lucas is awake after he and Carmen had made love.
"Something about tonight was different: newly intimate, especially intense. But to use either of these words - "intimate", "intense" - felt romance-novel generic. They were generalizations. And when you really knew someone your physical connection was specific and precise. It was Lucas realized, the difference between having sex and making love. Sex, on the one hand, was something you did. You could do it poorly or well. You could practice and improve. But it was, essentially, an activity, like yoga or checkers. Love, on the other hand, was something you fashioned with great care from the raw materials: your body and someone else's, your heart and theirs. Tonight, corny as it sounded, he'd made love to her."

I like this passage from the novel's Epilogue. Context: Two years have passed since Carmen's and Lucas' employment with Empire magazine. Carmen is at a book-signing for her new book.
A college-aged woman with pink hair raised her hand. "You say that you're sick of writing about sex", the woman said. "So why write this book?"
Carmen smiled and shook her head. "This book is really about desire," she said, "and that's far more interesting. Sure, there's sexual desire in there, but it's also the desire to be wanted, to be successful, to be important, to be worthy. And it's about the trouble we have when our desires get entangled with other people's - which is exactly what happened to me and Lucas and Jay. An also, I think it's important to talk about how our strongest desires are rarely fulfilled. We will always want more. And like I said, that can make us forget about what we already have. The real struggle of living in this city isn't the constatnt striving to get what you want - it's being able to simply live. To be content."
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