Word of the Day: obfuscate
Obfuscate (verb) AHB-fuh-skayt
1 a : darken
b : to make obscure
2 : confuse
3 : to be evasive, unclear, or confusing
“Time and again he has shifted, shaded or obfuscated his policy positions—piling on new ideas, which sometimes didn’t fit with the old.” — David Fahrenthold and Katie Zezima, The Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2016
“It was the trademark of San Francisco psychedelia to never put the year on a concert poster, and to obfuscate important details.” — Sam Whiting, The San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Oct. 2016
Did You Know?
To obfuscate something means to make it so that it isn’t clear or transparent, much like dirty water makes it hard to see to the bottom of a pond. The verb shares its ob-root (meaning “over, completely”) with obscure, another word that can refer to the act of concealing something or making it more difficult to see or understand. The rest of obfuscate comes from Latin fuscus, which means “dark brown” and is distantly related to our word dusk.
Obfuscate, I like this word. If one knows its meaning, it’s easy to use in common language. I can even see me using it in my novels. Any of my plots can darken obscure, confuse or evade the real action. While my writing is explicit, I like to hide undercurrents of thoughts, beliefs or opinions into my scenes.
Did you know that while most of the characters are not spiritual at all, the title character is very much so. She believes in life after death, and she believes in a higher power. None of the other characters do. In essence, the characters in the world I created in these books has lost all touch with religion, spirituality and the idea of life after death.
Not to obfuscate the plot but Honey intends to help her community in life and after. She believes that a higher power will allow her, through ritualistic means, to literally live on after her death and help her family and friends to overcome adversity and thrive for eternity.
For the rest of the characters, their paths through life are clear and well known. They have no concept of life after death. Little by little, Honey is changing that, so that the main character, Mona, questions herself, her life and her role within the community. Her path becomes unclear as she tries to resolve the conflict of her upbringing with the ideals of her best friend, Honey.
I had fun looking for images related to this word. I hope you like the ones I chose, as well as the sexy bonus pic you will get if you share this post via Twitter.
I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Don’t you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.
Have a great day.