What does apposite mean?

Word count: 264 words

Reading time: About 1 minute

If you increase your vocabulary you’ll not only help your reading, you’ll also make your writing more precise. Here is my word of the week. 

I’ve  just finished reading the enthralling book, Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer, it presents a riveting description of how the author trains himself to win the 2006 US memory championships.

While the ideas might sound crazy, I have taken one memory improvement course myself and can testify that Foer’s strategies are commonplace to the initiated. The idea of giving things you want to remember unusual and amusing personifications (such as moonwalking with Einstein) would not raise a single eyebrow in a crowd of memory enthusiasts.

Such people would also probably better remember words than I can. I have looked up the word apposite a number of times and just can’t seem to engrave it on my brain. Here’s how Foer uses it:

I imagined becoming one of those admirable (if sometimes insufferable) individuals who always seem to have an apposite quotation to drop into conversation. 

Apposite (an adjective) means suitable, well-adapted, pertinent, or relevant. It’s origins? It dates back to the 1620s, and comes from the Latin verb appositus meaning “contiguous, neighboring” and, figuratively, “fit, proper or suitable.”

Don’t confuse it with opposite — although, if you’re looking for a memory trick you might be able to recall it as virtually the opposite of opposite.

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