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To make someone do something by telling them they are great.
For example: "I need the report by tomorrow. You are the only one who is smart enough to do it."
To persuade someone or something. For example:

"Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay not attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap." ~ William John Bennett

A person or an animal can be coaxed... but so can a thing. For example:

"Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time." ~ Mark Twain

In the example... habit is coaxed... which means to make something become a habit slowly... a little at a time.

So when we coax something... we are doing it gently and slowly.  The thing that we coax does not want to do what we want, but slowly it does. 

So... you can say:
"I will coax him into making the report for us. I know he does not want to do it. But, if I keep asking, he will do it."

Listen: Coax

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New Word A Day .com

< ah - neeg - ma >
An enigma is a riddle.  So instead of saying... "That's a riddle."  You can say... "That is an enigma".

An enigma is harder to solve than a riddle.  An enigma implies that it may never be understood. Such as... "The pyramids are an enigma. No one knows how they were made."

See? The idea is that it may never be solved.  A riddle has the idea that it is solvable.  An enigma also gives the idea that it will take great skill to solve it.  A riddle can be solved by anyone- an enigma can only be solved by an expert.

An enigma is a noun... since it is a thing.

From Englishionary:

It is also a dark, obscure, or inexplicable saying. A riddle. A statement. The hidden meaning of which is to be discovered or guessed.
“A custom was among the ancients of proposing an enigma at festivals.” Pope.

An action, mode of action, or thing, which cannot be satisfactorily explained; a puzzle; as his conduct is an enigma.

Relating to or resembling an enigma; not easily explained or accounted for; darkly expressed; obscure; puzzling; as an enigmatical answer.

So... say: "That's quite an enigma. I don't understand it."

 "I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."
- Umberto Eco

“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interests.” ~ Winston Churchill

Listen to Pronunciation: Enigma

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New Word A Day


Having the qualities fabled to belong to the god Mercury;  Mercury was a god in Roman mythology.

He was a messenger and a god of trade.  Mercury was based on the characteristics and mythology of the analogous Greek deity, Hermes. Hermes was the Greek god of roads and all that happened on them, such as travel and even highway theft. Greek mythology says that Hermes stole his brother Apollo's cattle in order to create the first sacrifice to the Olympians.

So... Mercury traits were being swift; active; sprightly; fickle; volatile; changeable; as a mercurial youth; a mercurial temperament.  In other words: unpredictable in not such a good way.

If you say someone is mercurial, then they are considered active and perhaps mischievous.

For example:
"Did you take my pen and sell it? Are you being mercurial?"

Quoted by Byron:  “A mercurial man Who fluttered over all things like a fan.”

Of or pertaining to Mercury as the god of trade; hence, money-making; crafty. 

So... you can say to someone: "Wow. You are very mercurial. You made a lot of money selling stuff people did not want."

“The mercurial wand of commerce.” by J. Q. Adams.

Of or pertaining to, or containing, mercury; as mercurial preparations, barometer.
Mercury is used in a barometer.  Think about it.  A barometer changes a lot since it measures atmospheric pressure. Barometers tell us if the pressure is high or low and is thus used in weather prediction since the wind moves between pressure zones.

Mercurial is usually an adverb since it tells more about a verb... such as

A mercurial trade.
... Which means a trade that is crafty.

Sometimes it's an adjective... when it tells more about a noun.

“A mercurial barometer.”
“A barometer that has mercury in it.”

You now know where the word mercurial comes from!

So... If you want to use it today… Say to someone...

You are a very mercurial person.

Of course it means... an unpredictable person who may be good or bad.

Pronounced:  Mur – cure – re- al

Listen to Pronunciation: Mercurial

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Ab - Stroose

To hide something.

1. Concealed or hidden out of the way.
2. Remote from apprehension; difficult to be comprehended or understood; recondite; as abstruse learning.

In a Sentence:
The eternal eye whose sight discerns abstruse thoughts. ~ Milton.

Memory trick:
Ab - struse
Abstruse reminds of Obstruct.

Listen to Pronunciation: Abstruse

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Look both ways before you cross the street...
Make sure no traffic is coming before you cross.
Why is what I just said... a tautology?
Tautology means to say the same thing in two different ways.


Tawt - oll - low - gee

To say something in a different way.

A repetition of the same meaning in different words; needless repetition of an idea in different words or phrases; a representation of anything as the cause, condition, or consequence of itself.

In a Sentence:
Always get an approval. To use a tautology... make sure they agree.

Memory trick:
Taut - ology
Taut reminds of taught or teach.
We explain in different ways when we teach.

Listen to Pronunciation: Tautology

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