adj. Acting or tending to clear of guilt or blame

The meritocracy narrative was a cover for lack of structural analysis. It smoothed things out. It was flattering, and exculpatory, and painful for some people to part with.

Anna Wiener, Uncanny Valley


n. 1. The act of surrendering.

She viewed corporate capitalism as an integral component of structural racism in America, and working for Target had felt as demoralizing as shopping there — a capitulation to the same rigged game whose unfair rules were upheld by the police.

Luke Mogelson, “Letter from Minneapolis: The Uprising,” The New Yorker


n. 1. The quality or state of being brief in duration. 2. Concise expression; terseness.

When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.

William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style


n. 1. A primitive or uncivilized person. 2. A brutal, fierce, or vicious person. 3. A rude person; a boor.

tr.v. 1. To assault ferociously. 2. To attack without restraint or pity.

The most popular books are often savaged by critics for their writing style, yet these writers are clearly connecting with readers.

— Betsy Lerner, The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers