Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Terms: r-e-t-i-c-e-n-t, reticent

reticent \RET-ih-suhnt\, adjective:
1. Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.
2. Restrained or reserved in style.
3. Reluctant; unwilling.

His wispy eyebrows sit above eyes undimmed by more than forty years of serious scholarship; a tight-lipped smile suggests that there are many things he will not say about himself or his accomplishments. Indeed, he is almost painfully reticent about what most scholars now consider to be a monumental achievement in the field.
-- Marc K. Stengel, "The Diffusionists Have Landed", The Atlantic, January 2000

Within a circle of intimate friends, he's a very sociable person, says Russell Banks, another novelist, who has known Auster since 1977. "Outside of that circle, he's fairly shy and reticent."
-- "Case of the Brooklyn Symbolist", New York Times, August 30, 1992

He would write to us every week when we were at boarding school. Our family relationships, it now strikes me, were created more by these intertwining letters than by conversation, for we all wrote avidly back and forth to each other but were reticent when we met.
-- Nigel Nicolson, Long Life


1 comment:

Amy said...

Thank you! I will do the same once I get going!