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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Friday 22nd March 2024
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arcane (adjective) ar-KAYN

Secret, mysterious, difficult or impossible to understand.

Ephron's beloved was initially protected by New York City's arcane rent-control laws, which were revised during her tenancy to gradually raise the ludicrously small rent of such luxury housing stock to better reflect its real market value.

Lionel Shriver, Guardian, 7 April 2007,
reviewing Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. Amazon

His four children - Frank, into revolutionary politics and bombing; Reef, a reckless tunnel blaster wandering the Balkans as Europe shudders into war; Lake, who marries her father's assassin, and Kit, a Yale- and Göttingen-educated mathematical prodigy preoccupied with arcane and unsolvable formulae - take up the question of vengeance with varying degrees of dedication.

David Gale, The Observer, 26 November 2006,
reviewing Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day. Amazon

Whatever his dietary allegiances, Stuart (who graduated from Cambridge in 1999 and writes for Indian newspapers) certainly exhibits immense learning, the result of attending to obscure pamphlets along with literary masterworks, arcane mystical treatises along with political manifestos, the pronouncements of quacks along with the meditations of scholars.

Edward Rothstein, The New York Times, 25 February 2007, New York Times
reviewing Tristram Stuart's The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism From 1600 to Modern Times. Amazon

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