New Word #23: Being Indirect

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Being Indirect

prevaricate: speak or act in an evasive way.

equivocate: use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.

circumlocution: the use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive.

implicit: implied though not plainly expressed.

allude: suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at.

hint: a slight or indirect indication or suggestion.

vague: not clearly expressed.

dissemble: conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs

Being Unclear

ambiguous: (of language) open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.

ambivalent: having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

Being Careful

circumspect: wary and unwilling to take risks.

discreet: careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage.

Being Longer

circuitous: (of a route or journey) longer than the most direct way.

tortuous: full of twists and turns; excessively lengthy and complex. This word is not to be confused with the word torturous. The two look very similar and it is easy to mistake one for the other. Torturous means suffering under torture; characterized by, involving, or causing excruciating pain or suffering

Not Obvious

obscure: not discovered or known about; uncertain.

inconspicuous: not clearly visible or attracting attention; not conspicuous.

37 thoughts on “New Word #23: Being Indirect

    1. Wow, how come I forgot to include this one. I love this word. English has such an unusual emphasis on coherence and transition that I have often been annoyed. What is completely OK in other languages can be treated as incoherent and lack of transition in English. As a result, a lot of efforts have to be put in such a direction–sometimes a whole paragraph is there for the sole purpose of transition. LOL.

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      1. Lol so true. I think people whose first language is English will probably find other languages a bit rude because many of them are much more straightforward and don’t use such lengthy transitions. I remember discussing this with a friend and she said we always have to make so much useless small talk in English otherwise people assume you are rude or you don’t like them.

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        1. I specifically remember those times when I had finished speaking, but the native speakers were still expecting something. I didn’t know what they were expecting (still don’t) but I know they didn’t think that should be the end. LOL. Wish I can write that into a story, but I don’t know how. LOL.

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        2. I haven’t figured out how to write it because it is out of the range of those things I’ve ever read. There are books about diversity, but none in-depth though. It is usually about some obvious things, not touching the more difficult part. I really want to do it and I wonder how to describe it. LOL.

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        3. That’s true. I will definitely write something about it, but it is not really easy to capture the thread among the confusion. It’s often a haunch and a dismay, which need to be probed. LOL. Thank you for the encouragement and I really need to explore this. 😍😊💖

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        4. Thank you. I will try my best. This is probably why there aren’t many good writing about diversity because the cultural differences and the perception of the cultural differences are not easy to present and often it needs a lot of explanation, which the current quick instant one-liner kind of culture doesn’t feel incline towards. LOL. you are an inspiration to me. LOL.

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        5. True. People’s attention span is getting shorter and if they don’t instantly get something they stop caring which is sad. I guess it’s also difficult to write about because even if you explain it in detail it’s one of those things you can never fully relate to unless you have experienced it first hand lol. You’re an inspiration to me too- your writing always leave me in awe.

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        6. That’s so true. Only people who have contacted a different culture and have the wish (and the need) to understand a different culture can relate to this. Most people don’t relate at all. There’s a balance between writing familiar things that can be cliche and writing unfamiliar things that can be un-relatable. LOL.

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    1. English is whimsical and strange like that. Other languages try to simplify and facilitate the communication, but English is trying to make it more complicated for its own amusement. No matter how much one knows about English, there’s always more.

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  1. I also like tautology (noun) tautological (adj) where one repeats information but with synonyms example: The boy was quiet and taciturn. Loquacious (talkative) Laconic (of few words). In English slang, primarily London & the south, we use rabbit (to be excessively talkative). Love circumlocution, reminded me of Dickens and the Circumlocution Office in ‘Bleak House.’ Great post, as usual.

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    1. Rabbit–talkative. LOL. That’s just like people using owl for the symbol of curiosity and knowledge. Totally irrational. I can understand people use dog for loyalty and monkey for agility–that is rational. LOL. Who am I to judge? I’ve always wanted to read Dickens, but have never had time to since each book is so thick.. Wait. I think I finished Little Dorrit long long time ago while my English was not good enough. It took me a long time and in the end it’s too big a struggle that I started to hate Dickens. LOL.

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      1. Yes, we use animals as metaphors and similes (He’s a pig, she drinks like a fish) but rabbit is from Cockney (associated with east London) slang … the phrase is ‘rabbit & pork’ … pork rhymes with talk, and the phrases was shortened to merely ‘rabbit’. Try to give Dickens a read – remember his books were published in monthly installments so contemporaneous readers took over a year to read a novel. ‘Great Expectations’ is a good start as it’s quintessentially Dickensian but relatively short. Greetings from Viet Nam

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        1. That makes sense. So that’s how the talking rabbit was born. LOL. Yes, I’ve tried to read Dickens, but always run out of time. So many books to read and so little time. That’s life.

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