limn ˈlim verb
1. make a portrait of
2. trace the shape of
The word limn has appeared in eight articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Sept. 17 in “More and More Children Are Feeling Anxious. This Graphic Novelist Is Trying to Help” by Scott Stossel:
Children are struggling. Over the last decade, cases of anxiety disorder in young people have increased by 20 percent or more. Rates of suicide and suicidal thinking have risen sharply among young people of all ages — including, horrifyingly, children under 11. Scholars debate why this is happening — plausible culprits include social media, video gaming, helicopter parenting, school shootings and lockdown drills, overweening college pressure, and both the over- and under-prescribing of medication, among other things — but the fact of steadily rising numbers of children with anxiety and depression is hard to dispute.
Telgemeier is not, in a book aimed at third to eighth graders, out to solve the mystery of this rise or limn its sociological roots. What she does do, in keeping with the mode of her previous books, is provide a remarkably well-rendered and accessible first-person account of what it’s like to experience clinical anxiety as a 10-year-old girl — which, I can say with authority, is also pretty much what it’s like to experience clinical anxiety as a 10-year-old boy.