Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Gaucherie / goh-shuh-REE / noun
1. A socially awkward or tactless act.
2. Lack of tact; boorishness; awkwardness.

If you find yourself sitting next to an obviously prosperous guest at a dinner party and your host introduces him (it will be a him) as a "successful barrister", you will be guilty of a gaucherie of the crassest kind if you exclaim: "How fascinating! If I promise not to call you Rumpole, will you tell me about your goriest murder trials?"
-- Nick Cohen, "Don't leave justice to the judges", New Statesmen, December 13, 1999

Here we see the insecure, unattractive woman who at long last has found someone even more insecure and unattractive than herself, calling attention to her companion's gaucherie in order to feel, for once in her life, like the belle of the ball.
-- Florence King, "Out and About", National Review, November 9, 1998

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