Alessandra Stanley Vocabulary Decoder, Vol. IV

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NY Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley knows wonderful words. Don’t believe us? From today’s column on new CBS comedy Rules of Engagement:

ROUÉ, as in, “pitting the randy roué against two contentedly committed couples.”

Webster’s: A lecherous man.

SEQUOIAN, as in, “beneath sequoian impassivity lurks an engagingly warm persona.”

Sequoian is not in the Webster’s II New Collegiate, but Sequoia is: An extremely large evergreen of the genus Sequoia, which includes the redwood and the giant sequoia.

ÉLAN VITAL, as in, “prompted less by an élan vital than Viagra.”

Webster’s: The vital force hypothesized by Henri Bergson as a source of efficient causation and evolution in nature.

Whereas some writers are paid by the word, perhaps Ms. Stanley is paid by the accent ague.

By Michael Malone