Grains of Sand: TIME December 2012 Words

Pariah: an outcast

-North Korea successfully launched a long-range satellite into orbit on Dec. 12 heightening concerns about the pariah state’s growing ability to threaten its neighbours.

Conclave: a private meeting, secret assembly, gathering of a group

Dissident: disagreeing especially with an established religion or political system

-The huddled conclave (Syrian opposition with Western Diplomats) was boosted by Barack Obama’s announcement of support for the SNC (Syrian National Coalition), an umbrella group compromising exiled dissidents that had already won formal recognition from France, the UK and Gulf states.

Imprimatur: approval

-Despite securing the imprimatur of world leaders, the SNC faces its biggest challenge in winning credibility at home.

Furlough: A leave of absence from duty granted especially to a soldier

-Employees at personnel-heavy federal agencies like the FBI and TSA get furlough notices.

Derail: To cause to run off the rails

Junket: A social affair or an excursion/trip/journey

-But the vineyard junket derailed Stavridis’ shot at becoming Navy’s top officer.

Spate: a large number/amount or a sudden strong outburst

-The spate of generals acting like caesars has led Defense Secretary to order Army General to investigate whether top officers get too many perks.

Tether: To fasten or restrain or the limit of one’s strength or resources

-The left must ask itself why it is tethered to a philosophy that insists that…

Benign: Gentle, kindly

-He sits in a simple office lit by the sparkle in his eyes, which dance with the alert intelligence required to cast events in a benign light.

Duplicitous: deceitful

-The thing to understand, el-Haddad insists, is that the Brotherhood is not duplicitous but rather dazed and confused.

Caliphate: ruled by a successor of Muhammad as spiritual and temporal (secular) head of Islam

-They want to form the caliphate state, Mohammed says, wincing.

Decentralize: to delegate power from central authority to regional and local authorities

-It was decentralized by design so it could withstand security blows from the regime, whether horizontal or vertical within the organization itself.

Devolve: to fall or to be passed, in this case: to degenerate through a gradual change

-He regards the Brotherhood as intellectually exhausted, its pragmatism devolved to worldly ambition.

Profane: secular

-The sacred and the profane coexist with no evident dissonance in a luxury mall where loudspeakers carry the noon call to prayer past a Pinkberry and a store window displaying boxer shorts that read NIBBLE MY NUTS.

Affluent: having a lot of money

Phalanxes: A mass arrangement of people/animal/things or an organized body of persons

-The street, in the affluent neighbourhood of Heliopolis, was a battleground on Dec. 9 when phalanxes of well-trained Brotherhood toughs were ordered i, chanting “Morsi!” in cadence. 

Stigma: a mark of shame or discredit

-And never has the social stigma of marijuana use been milder.

Incremental: increasing gradually by degrees or additions

-The very process of regulating a newly legal dope trade, however, has the potential to turn an incremental development into a very big deal.

-It must have seemed, once upon a time, that a few casinos in the Nevada desert were but an incremental step in a society life with illegal gambling.

Launder: in this case, to transfer (by illegally obtaining money) through an outside party to conceal the true source

-HSBC just agreed to a 1.9 billion settlement over money laundering

Deprecate: to pray against evil, to seek to avert, to express disapproval, or to play down

-The 55- year-old single father laughs easily and talks self-deprecating stories about his role in  making our financial system safer.

Solvent: able to pay all legal debts (non-scientifically)

-In some ways, LIBOR is a measure of banks’ trust in one another’s solvency

mea culpa: a formal acknowledgement of a personal fault or error

-Unlike others, he was brave enough to make a public mea culpa and also fight back when it seemed the Obama Administration wanted to return to the status quo.

*All examples are direct quotes from TIME December 24th edition. All definitions are from Merriam Webster.


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