The word circumlocution has appeared in two articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on March 15 in the Opinion essay “Making the SAT and ACT Optional Is the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations” by John McWhorter:
When we expect less of people, it’s often because we think less of them: In 1974, the linguistic anthropologist Elinor Ochs documented that in rural villages in Madagascar, women were associated more with direct and therefore less refined speech than men. Their culture heavily valued circumlocution — diplomatic, even delicate speech — but it was still considered socially acceptable for women to speak bluntly, sometimes even coarsely, because less was expected of them.
Daily Word Challenge
Can you correctly use the word circumlocution in a sentence?
Based on the definition and example provided, write a sentence using today’s Word of the Day and share it as a comment on this article. It is most important that your sentence makes sense and demonstrates that you understand the word’s definition, but we also encourage you to be creative and have fun.
Then, read some of the other sentences students have submitted and use the “Recommend” button to vote for two original sentences that stand out to you.
If you want a better idea of how circumlocution can be used in a sentence, read these usage examples on Vocabulary.com.
If you enjoy this daily challenge, try one of our monthly vocabulary challenges.
Students ages 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, can comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff.