Something tendentious is biased toward a particular opinion (usually an opinion that causes a lot of people to disagree).
ten DEN shuss
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a tendentious conclusion.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The conclusion was tendentious.”)
Other forms: tendentiously
How to use it:
"Tendentious" usually describes things people write or say. So, you talk about tendentious reports, accounts, rumors, descriptions, interpretations, statements, conclusions, comments, and so on.
As you can tell, this word is critical. It's never a compliment or even neutral to say something is tendentious: you mean that it's pushing a particular opinion when it really shouldn't.
When the media and public figures start to address tendentious rumors, even to put them at rest, it can actually make people start believing them more and more.
The makers of this expensive "ionic" hair dryer keep making the tendentious claim that regular hair dryers do irreparable damage to hair.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "tendentious" means when you can explain it without saying "promoting a certain controversial opinion" or "furthering a particular point of view."
Think of the last article you read that was very obviously biased, and fill in the blanks: "(Site or news outlet) published a tendentious piece about _____."
Example: "They published a tendentious piece again about who deserves to win the party nomination."
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:
This month, we're playing with some fascinating thematic word lists assembled by Stephen Chrisomalis, an English language expert over at The Phrontistery who kindly gave permission for me to use his work. (Check out his site; you will definitely enjoy it!)
Try a question each day, and see the right answers here the following day--or if you can't wait, follow the link to Stephen's list to dig out the answers yourself. Have fun!
An oystercatcher, a quickhatch, and a tucutucu are all types of what?
Strange as they sound, these are all names for particular types of animals. An oystercatcher is a wading shorebird with a reddish bill, a quickhatch is a wolverine, and a tucutucu is a rat-like burrowing South American rodent.
Try this one today:
Match these terms for systems of knowledge and philosophical practices to their definitions:
- learned dinner-conversation
- ancient learning or thought
- the doctrine or theory of the soul
- the system of knowledge concerning secrets
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answers? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
Francis Bacon: “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.”
1. The opposite of TENDENTIOUS is
2. Using a _____ to push your tendentious _____ is, at best, in poor taste.
A. ghostwriter .. memoirs
B. national tragedy .. agenda
C. known authority .. products
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.