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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:

(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 (, 2. kinship (American Heritage Dictionary, 3. one of the main factors leading to interpersonal attraction (

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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