Today’s words are brought to you by 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head by Dan Harris. This news anchor experienced a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, which led to his search for a better way to control stress and live life to the fullest. The answer? Meditation.
Harris used several adjectives whose meanings may have been discerned from the context, but I would have been hard-pressed to respond with a specific definition if asked. Here are just a few:
“Avuncular” means “of or relating to an uncle.” Harris used it to describe GMA cohost Charles Gibson for his uncle-like demeanor.
“Intercessory” is the adjective form of the noun “intercession,” which means “prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another.” Harris talked to some religious folks who believe that intercessory prayer can be a catalyst to real-world change.
“Sartorial” means “of or relating to a tailor or tailored clothes”—not to be confused with sartorius, which is a long, thin thigh muscle. Harris shucked off “satorial detritus” when changing into sweatpants after work.
I read 10% Happier shortly after installing the latest Kindle software update that includes a new Vocabulary Builder feature. When you search for a word definition on your Kindle, it accumulates in this directory. You can then access Vocabulary Builder at any time to practice and master the words and refer back to how they appeared in the book. What a great tool for someone like me who makes a living with words.