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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Friday 25th May 2018
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

dichotomy (noun) die-KOT-o-mee

A clear split into two groups with very different opinions on or approaches to an issue.

It sometimes feels as though her world is divided cleanly in two: into those who daily offer thanks for their shiny good fortune and those who don't know what they've got until it is gone, a dichotomy that would be trite, were it not for her dark hints that happy people are also boring, blind people; that pain and creativity are linked; that life is a compromise that a person may not even be aware they are making.

Rachel Cooke, The Observer, 13 November 2005, Observer
reviewing Alison Lurie's Truth and Consequences. Amazon

That the man committed to piloting a market economy and opening Russia up to the West is also the man whose idea of the dynamics between power and people echoes the psychology and patriotism of both tsarist and Soviet Russia is a dichotomy few Russians find unnatural - the nation exists in a state of ambiguity.

Ed Vulliamy, The Observer, 14 March 2004, Observer
reviewing Andrew Jack's Inside Putin's Russia. Amazon

For Lynne Segal, the story of the experiment does not settle the nature/nurture debate one way or the other - her view, widely shared today, is that the dichotomy is false - but it shows the perils of psychologists trying to prove too much through research.

Oliver Burkeman and Gary Younge, The Guardian, 12 May 2004, Guardian
reviewing John Colapinto's As Nature Made Him. Amazon

And yet to divide the world between fundamentalists and autonomous free thinkers is to create a dichotomy that distorts more than it reveals.

David Brooks, The New York Times, 22 October 2006, New York Times
reviewing Andrew Sullivan's The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back. Amazon

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