“Perfidy.” “Anathema.” “Opprobrium.”
Not exactly inspirational terms, are they? Neither are “schadenfreude” or “hubris.” Yet those words, and quite a few others with dour connotations, are some of the terms that appear to pique the curiosity of New York Times readers the most.
They all appear on a list of the paper’s 50 most looked-up words so far this year. The Times website includes a feature where double-clicking on a word brings up its definition to help readers wade through the paper’s famously magniloquent writing. (Since you can’t double-click that, it means they use big words.)