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09

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Quick Write 091811 “Pungency”

I’m very ashamed to say this, but I didn’t know the word “pungency” until I saw a label of a newly released beverage product this afternoon. According to its advertisement, “pungency” is a noun dedicated to the superb English tea as the best compliment. So, today on QW 0918 piece, I’d like to share how I tried learning the word “pungency” with visitors to QWF.

I first went to Merriam-Webster online and got the following definition; the quality or state of being pungent. Oh, it happens sometime. It means that I need to go for the adjective “pungent”, but before doing so, I decided to check example sentences of “pungency” on the same page. I found two examples there: “The pungency of the vinegar gives the salad dressing the kick that it needs.”, and “Theatergoers have long delighted in the pungency and wit of the play's dialogue.” My guessing at that time was that the noun “pungency” is used for a spicy, kind of stimulating taste of something, such as food, beverage, as well as human speech and writing. Then I looked up “pungent” in Oxford English Dictionary in my SII e-dictionary for variety, and got the definition of “having a sharply strong taste or smell, and “(of comment, criticism, or humor) having a sharp and caustic quality”. Well, now I somewhat began to grasp the word and its usage. Then I input the word “pungency” into Oxford Sentence Dictionary, obtained 13 examples and read them all. Finally, I went to “The New York Times” website to search sentences including the word and to learn how they are used. The following is one of the sentences I found there: “Its big, bright, slablike letters befit Mr. Bochner’s explorations of the special pungency of slang. (From Print Fair 2010 By ROBERTA SMITH published on November 5, 2010)”. Among the search results were sentences from Dinning and Wine section.

This initial research is not the end of the vocabulary learning. I might want to reread examples and rewrite some of them in my own way to further grasp its usage, and try using the word in my own writing. I’m not sure if I’d use this sentence in the near future, but I could rewrite the example from Merriam-Webster as follows: “Avid readers have long delighted in the pungency and wit of the author’s essays.” This rewriting process made me realized that I’m accustomed to the collocations like “be delighted to do” or “be delighted with something”, but not so much to the verb “delight” as intransitive verb as in “Avid readers have long delighted in …” Yes, rewriting practice has taught me something extra than the meaning of the word “pungency” .

(30 minutes / 451 words)

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"午後の紅茶 Pungency"
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Aya

Author:Aya
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