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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Thursday 5th August 2021
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

trenchant (adjective) TREN-chunt

Incisive, forthright, direct, deliberately offensive, effective in pursuing a goal.

She furnished Sir Bryan, and later myself also, with much valuable information, and for her own part fought the battle most strenuously - living among the men, lecturing, finding and instructing lecturers, providing disinfectants, importuning authorities, writing most trenchant letters, establishing medical clubs in England and France, and the like.

Ettie A Rout, Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity. Amazon

The following year the interest of the whole country was drawn to a series of debates held in Illinois by Lincoln and Douglas, both candidates for the United States Senate. In the course of his campaign Lincoln had uttered his trenchant saying that "a house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free."

Charles and Mary Beard, A Basic History of the United States. Amazon

Twain’s trenchant satirist’s eye is just barely discernible in this silly, formulaic farce, written in 1898, about a starving French painter forced to don women’s clothes.

Ben Brantley, The New York Times, 10 December 2007.
New York Times

But Dr Starkey - who has been described as "the rudest man in Britain" - reserves his most trenchant criticism for what he regards as the Queen's lack of awareness of her place in the long line of the British monarchy.

Patrick Sawer, Telegraph, 26 December 2007. Telegraph

The authors miss a few ghastlyisms, among them, ‘I hear what you say’ (meaning ‘…and I think it’s rubbish’); ‘unacceptable’ (a cliché introduced by Ted Heath’s originally trenchant ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’, referring to ‘Tiny’ Rowland’s Lonrho); ‘devasta’ed’ (similar to ‘gu’ed’); ‘unsustainable’; and ‘emote’ (originally an Americanism — ‘Kimberley was emoting in a corner’).

Bevis Hillier, The Spectator, 14 November 2007, Spectator
reviewing Clive Whichelow and Hugh Murray's It’s Not Rocket Science — and Other Irritating Modern Clichés. Amazon

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