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Arts & Culture > Poetry & Prose > Word Wise Cont'd
 

Word Wise Cont'd

reticent / secretive / taciturn / laconic
One is reticent who is disposed to be silent, who has an inclination to keep his own counsel, is reserved, not inclined to speak freely.
Secretive means extremely reticent, having a disposition to secrecy.  It is a stronger word than reticent and carries a slightly pejorative connotation.  Reticence is often admirable; secrecy suggests furtiveness and implies there is something improper to be hidden.
Taciturn describes one who is habitually inclined to silence, reserved in speech, reticent in an uncheerful manner.
Laconic, unlike taciturn, is a rather laudatory term.  It means using few words, being concise.  (His political enemies considered Coolidge taciturn; his friends praised him for being laconic.) 
from A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage by Bergen Evans & Cornelia Evans (Random House, 8th printing, 1957)
 

posted on Aug 16, 2013 7:20 PM ()

Comments:

Mum's the word.
comment by solitaire on Aug 18, 2013 5:47 AM ()
Where were you when I studied for the GRE?
comment by jjoohhnn on Aug 17, 2013 4:44 PM ()
Mr. Troutbend is laconic but not reticent once he opens his mouth. I used to talk a lot, but have gotten smarter in my old age.
comment by troutbend on Aug 17, 2013 4:22 PM ()
(*)
comment by jondude on Aug 17, 2013 7:45 AM ()
I have never been accused of being reticent since my thoughts are laid bare for all to hear.
comment by elderjane on Aug 17, 2013 7:29 AM ()
I have rarely been reticent or secretive wishing at least some of those close to me to say, "Gee, I wish she was more (fill in)."
comment by tealstar on Aug 17, 2013 6:26 AM ()
I like to think of myself as reticent but I'm really just shy.
comment by nittineedles on Aug 16, 2013 8:17 PM ()
Nuthin wrong with that.
reply by steeve on Aug 17, 2013 6:05 AM ()

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