Words You Should Know in Today’s World

From Oxford

There was the known world, or the world as we knew it, which existed on and prior to November 8, 2016. Then came terra incognita, reached after checking our smart phones in the wee hours of November 9th.

It’s been a month, but it’s still pitch black out there and we keep bumping into the furniture. We can’t see what’s ahead, and there is no blueprint for Trump’s America.
What we can do is pay attention. In true English teacher style, I compiled a glossary of terms to with which to familiarize going forward.

Nepotism: (noun) the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.

Conflict of Interest: (noun) a situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity.

From UKtele

Cronyism: (noun) the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.

Coercion: (noun) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

Crybaby: (noun): someone who will cry over the smallest thing out of self-pity, these days used aggressively to belittle the legitimacy of collective dissent.

Demagogue: (noun) a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.

Vigilance: (noun) the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.

Civil Disobedience: (noun) the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest (eg. Standing Rock).

Hope, circa 11/8/16: (noun) an optimistic attitude of mind that once was based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large, but these days is simply a matter of dogged determination or denial.

Laura Hurwitz is a novelist, podcaster, and teacher living in New Haven.

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