Words and Terms in the News

verities (truths)
“There are some eternal verities about politics—chiefly, that most politicians are … carefully calculating and keenly attuned to what is possible.” (page 25)

Platonic (pure or unrealistically perfect)
“The case of the now sainted Truman, the Platonic presidential ideal of 2008, is an example of just this phenomenon.” (page 25)

privation (act of taking away food or other rights)
“McCain chose to stay in prison—and endure torture and privation for another five years.” (page 26)

glower (an angry stare)
“The shopkeepers glower as an American military patrol rumbles past...” (page 42)

in effigy (a public display of a crude image or dummy representing a hated or disliked person)
“The women’s deaths led to several days of protests by hundreds of Afghans who chanted ‘Death to Bush’ and burned the American president in effigy.” (page 43)

per se (Latin phrase meaning “itself”)
“ ‘It was not really cheerleading per se,’ says Karl Olson of the USASF.” (page 56)

permutations (potential alterations of a given set of objects)
“The same process gave rise to the dozen or so permutations of Coke on the market...” (page 60)

contentious (involving controversy)
“The role of diet sodas in weight loss is a contentious area of research” (page 61)