Word + Quiz: malcontent

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Word + Quiz: malcontent

adjective: dissatisfied with order or authority

noun: a person who is disgusted or bears a grudge

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The word malcontent has appeared in 13 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on August 17 in the book review “Ali Smith’s ‘Summer’ Ends a Funny, Political, Very Up-to-Date Quartet” by Dwight Garner:

Sacha is so woke that she won’t ride in a car because it uses fossil fuels. Robert plays violent video games and admires Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s political Svengali. (To admire anything to do with Brexit, if you’re an adult in an Ali Smith novel, is to be among the especially damned.) Robert makes mischief. He throws the family’s Amazon Alexa into the sea, saying “Alexa, tell us how to do the breast stroke.” Covid has chucked their plans out the window.

… Along the way there is a good deal of talk about evanescence — of summertime and everything else. “You can’t put a pin through a summer,” one character says. Leave it to Robert, the malcontent, to compare summer to “the smell round a rubbish truck as it moves through the city and like you’re stuck on a bike behind it going way too slowly down a too-narrow street.”

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