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A daily word, its definition, and an example of its usage.

The word spasmodic has appeared in 25 New York Times articles in the past year, including on June 23 in "A Rinse and a Roll on a River in Nepal" by Mark Sundeen:

  • ... The river held me face-first in its washing machine; icy water blasted my sinuses and seized my heart. Being upside-down in a kayak is always startling, especially when it's February. Before I could roll back over, the river flipped me upright, dunked me again, then released me from the hole. I prepared to roll, but my arms, their sleeves now engorged with gallons of cold water, were numb, unresponsive objects. With a spasmodic jerk I flicked my head above the surface, sucked air like a carp, and flopped below again. I prepared again, but now my knee slipped out of the cockpit, and instead of reinserting it, I felt slight relief that I was that much closer to escaping this coffin. I groped for the handle on the spray skirt, pulled it, and was flushed out of the boat into churning water.


Financial Times February 28, 2014

"Politicians can improve the world but only bit by bit. Try something small, that's easily reversed. If it works, scale it up. If not, you drop it"
Simon Kuper

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