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Series: vocabulary

Word of the Day

Second word I’ve consciously added to my vocabulary – one I probably should have known a long time ago:

Propinquity
(Not to be confused with the obscure, one-record-producing, acoustic folk rock band from Colorado by this name; nor is it to be confused with one of the lost songs by The Monkees, also by this name. What is it with bad music and this word? I think it deserves a cooler reference/association. Sorry if I’ve just offended any Monkees fans.)

The word was first discovered (by me) in a Gina Barreca column in the passage:
“Propinquity is a poor basis for life-long passion. Just because you brush up against somebody in the dark a few times doesn’t mean you have to vow to love them forever.” Well said, Gina, well said.

Definition: 1. nearness in place, proximity (dictionary.com), 2. kinship (American Heritage Dictionary, 3. one of the main factors leading to interpersonal attraction (wikipedia.com)

According to wikipedia, the propinquity effect is the tendency for people to form friendships or romantic relationships with those whom they encounter often.

There’s an actual term for that? I thought that was called “smart livin'”. Or maybe, “how real life works for those who are not agoraphobic”. Apparently “propinquity effect” is the more technical description. Mental note.

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