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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Tuesday 5th December 2023
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

discrete (adjective) dis-KREET

Having distinct parts, separate, discontinuous.

McEwan's brilliance as a novelist lies in his ability to isolate discrete moments in a life and invest them with indelible significance: the supermarket scene of The Child in Time, the balloon disaster of Enduring Love.

Tim Adams, Guardian, 25 March 2007, Guardian
reviewing Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach. Amazon Amazon Audio

Best read as discrete stories, their common thread is the victim's-eye view of God's mysterious ways.

Isobel Montgomery, Guardian, 17 June 2006, Guardian
reviewing R.M. Lamming's As in Eden. Amazon

But the theme that recurs most beguilingly is his exploration of the relationship between dreams and creative inspiration: both are unpredictable, intensely personal and, as one character points out, intangible yet composed from discrete building blocks, “made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”

David Itzkoff, The New York Times, 5 November 2006, New York Times
reviewing Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders Amazon

The co-existence of musical brilliance with linguistic ineptitude indicates that the brain machinery responsible for these related attributes is discrete and partitioned.

Adrian Woolfson, Telegraph, 17 July 2005 Telegraph
reviewing Steven Mithen's The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body. Amazon

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