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Daemon
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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acumen

(noun) Shrewdness shown by keen insight.

Synonyms: insightfulness

Usage: His sharp business acumen meant he quickly rose to the top.
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 7:23:33 AM
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Many Americans are hoping that a person with natural political acumen will be elected president in 2016.
Verbatim
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 3:31:28 PM
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TheParser wrote:
Many Americans are hoping that a person with natural political acumen will be elected president in 2016.


That would take some acumen, naturally.
The Realist
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 6:37:30 PM

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To be successful in business, you must have full acumen about the business.
monamagda
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 7:57:59 PM

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acumen

Part of Speech:
Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: Mental keenness, intelligent insight, perceptiveness.

Notes: We have not decided how we want to pronounce today's Word, so we have our choice of the two different accent placements in Pronunciation and the sound file. This word has no immediate family but is related to acute, acuity, acupuncture, and other words referring to physical and figurative sharpness, such as acutance "photographic sharpness" and acuminate "to sharpen".

In Play: Acumen is the ability to notice and interpret small things that are important: "We are lucky that Creighton Shippet had the acumen to suspect that the ticking package he found in the mailroom might be a bomb." It is therefore an intelligence of perception rather than of contemplation: "If drinking hadn't dulled the acumen of Hardy Partier, he would have noticed the roadblock on the way home and would have stopped in time." (Hardy wasn't injured though his car was banged up a bit.)

Word History: Today's Word is Latin acumen "a point, keenness" unadulterated. The Latin noun comes from acuere "to sharpen", a verb derived from acus "needle", almost identical to Greek akis "needle". We find the Latin and Greek roots in many words referring to literal and figurative sharpness, such as those listed in the Notes above. Greek akros "topmost" originally referred to pointed mountain tops but simply meant "high" when it went into the making of acrobat, originally meaning a "high walker". We would expect the [k] to become [h] or [gh] in Germanic languages like English, so we aren't surprised to learn that it turns up as eh-her "spike" in Old English, a word that went on to become ear (of grain).

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