Part of speech:
(Like “milk,” “rice,” and “education,” uncountable nouns are words for stuff that can’t be broken into exact units. You talk about “some milk,” “the rice,” and “a lot of education,” but you don’t say “a milk,” “three rices,” or “many educations.”
Likewise, talk about “the joie de vivre,” “such joie de vivre,” “a lot of joie de vivre,” “no joie de vivre,” and so on, but don’t say “joie de vivres.”)
Joie de vivre is the joy of living. It's that happy enjoyment you get from living your wonderful life.
How to use it:
Talk about "her joie de vivre," "their joie de vivre," "my own joie de vivre," etc. Often you'll use the word "of" after it: the joie de vivre of a person, place, or thing, as in "the joie de vivre of my crazy best friend," "the joie de vivre of Washington, D.C.'s museum district," and "the joie de vivre of the 1980s." You can also talk about something or someone being full of joie de vivre, or having, experiencing, seeking, lacking, or losing joie de vivre.
This term is a little fancy. Use it if you're comfortable saying other French terms that entered English, like "à la mode," "c'est la vie," "déjà vu," "faux pas," and so on.
It's easy to dwell on the sadness of the past, but when my baby girl laughs loudly and shows me her four new teeth, or when she stretches out her arms for me to pick her up, I feel nothing but joie de vivre.
A rainbow-colored shaved ice with a scoop of ice cream in the bottom tastes like joie de vivre.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "joie de vivre” means when you can explain it without saying “happiness of life" or “thrill of living."
Think of a time you were so happy that life seemed beautiful, and fill in the blank: "(Nothing/Very little) can compare to the joie de vivre I felt (when/as/during) _____."
Example: "Very little can compare to the joie de vivre I felt when I paid off the last of my student loans."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s should be moderately difficult. By the end of the month, expect some whoppers.
What do these words have in common?: bartend, tweeze, televise
Answer: All are back-formations, or words created by clipping off part of existing words: bartend, from bartender; tweeze, from tweezers; and televise, from television.
Try this one today: glossophobia, claustrophobia, aerophobia. (Obviously they're all phobias, but beyond that, what do they have in common?)
A Point Well Made:
Robert J. Sawyer: “The right things to do are those that keep our violence in abeyance; the wrong things are those that bring it to the fore.”
1. The opposite of JOIE DE VIVRE is
2. Sure, he _____, but to think he entirely lacks joie de vivre would be a mistake.
A. writes the occasional terrible poem
B. takes his work very seriously
C. believes in some strange conspiracy theories
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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