Word of the Day

Word of the day

Friday, February 09, 2018

intersectionality

[ in-ter-sek-shuh-nal-i-tee ]

noun

the theory that the overlap of various social identities, as race, gender, sexuality, and class, contributes to the specific type ofsystemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual (often used attributively): Her paper uses a queer intersectionality approach.

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What is the origin of intersectionality?

Intersectionality was coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw. It entered English in 1989.

how is intersectionality used?

Intersectionality tells us that there is no one singular experience for women because of the way gender works in conjunction with race, ethnicity, social class, and sexuality.

Anna Diamond, "Making the Invisible Visible," Slate, September 3, 2015

… flippant or vague references to “intersectionality” abound and can serve to obscure a profound critique of deeply entrenched cognitive habits that inform feminist and antiracist thinking about oppression and privilege.

Anna Carastathis, Intersectionality: Origins, Contestations, Horizons, 2016
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Word of the day

Thursday, February 08, 2018

naissance

[ ney-suh ns ]

noun

a birth, an origination, or a growth, as that of a person, an organization, an idea, or a movement.

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What is the origin of naissance?

The English noun naissance comes from Middle French naissance, which is a derivative of the verb naître “to be born.” The French verb comes from the Vulgar Latin nāscere, a regular verb replacing the Latin deponent verb nāscī. Naissance entered English in the late 15th century. The sense of “new style, movement, or development (in the arts)” comes from a French usage of the 20th century.

how is naissance used?

If this was a period of Renaissance for Western Europe, was it not rather a Naissance for Russia?

Mary Platt Parmele, A Short History of Russia, 1899

Nina’s watchful eyes opened wider and wider as she witnessed in Eileen the naissance of an unconscious and delicate coquetry, quite unabashed, yet the more significant for that …

Robert W. Chambers, The Younger Set, 1907

Word of the day

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

lenity

[ len-i-tee ]

noun

the quality or state of being mild or gentle, as toward others.

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What is the origin of lenity?

The English noun lenity is a borrowing of Old French lenité or Latin lēnitat-, the stem of lēnitās “softness, smoothness, gentleness,” a derivative of the adjective lēnis, from which English has lenient and lenition. Lenity entered English in the mid-16th century.

how is lenity used?

He confined the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds, to common sense and reason, to justice and lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and criminal causes …

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, 1726

… I have relaxed, as I believe I may depend on her observing the rules I have laid down for their discourse. But do not imagine that with all this lenity I have for a moment given up my plan of her marriage …

Jane Austen, Lady Susan, 1871

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