Word of the Day

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


\ten-DEN-shuhs\ , adjective;
Marked by a strong tendency in favor of a particular point of view.
Most writing about Wagner has been like political pamphleteering--tendentious, one-sided and full of revisionist zeal.
-- Erich Leinsdorf, "The Cruel Face of Genius", New York Times, May 15, 1988
Since I believe all novels are political, I certainly believe that it is possible for a novelist to admix deliberate political purpose and aesthetics, although there is certainly the danger, in the process, of making art that is tendentious . . . and therefore not terribly artistically interesting.
-- Rick Moody, quoted in "Politics and the Novel: A Symposium", Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2000
All types of social disagreements seem to be routed almost inexorably into the tendentious jargon and intellectually impoverished categories of legal reasoning, until everyone from Alan Dershowitz to the guy fixing your radiator insists on giving you his opinion about fundamental rights, or presumptions of innocence, or probable cause, or--God help us--"what the Constitution requires."
-- Paul F. Campos, Jurismania: The Madness of American Law
Tendentious comes from Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendens, tendent-, present participle of tendere, "to stretch, to direct one's course to, to be inclined." It is related to tendency.
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