Week 1: Vicarious

This week’s “Word of the Week” is vicarious.  According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vicarious is an adjective that means “acting for another,” “done or suffered by one person on behalf of another or others,” or “sharing in someone else’s experience through the use of imagination or sympathetic feelings.”

Below are some examples of sentences from recent news articles that use forms of the word vicarious.  The adverbial form of vicarious is vicariously.

“Travel is a wonderful experience, but lately I find my vagabond tendencies are mostly satisfied by others. Vicarious travel is almost as good as boarding a plane – you don’t have to worry about lost luggage or airline strikes.”

“For most of the last century, dystopian science fiction has allowed us to momentarily behold an alternate reality, without having to remain there permanently. Tapping into our affinity for vicarious experience, the genre’s best films and books prompted us to consider all sorts of scientifically possible scenarios — nuclear catastrophe, environmental cataclysm, alien invasions, artificial intelligence gone crazy, etc. — and then breathe a sigh of relief in our still-not-too-dystopian present.”

“‘I have to say this truthfully, but (I) saw this so often in the swimming world growing up,’ Sanders said during a webcast of Mom Sense. ‘(I) saw so many people living vicariously through their kids, and … frankly, they wanted to be great at a sport, and so they were living through their kids to try to do that and make that happen.’”

“The latest reforms to moderni[z]e the management of wildlife in Scotland come into force today. The second commencement order of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 introduces a new offence of vicarious liability in relation to the persecution of wild birds. This offence allows for the prosecution of those minority of landowners or managers who fail to take the appropriate steps to ensure their employees and contractors act within the law.”

“I was at university in Dublin doing an English degree and I joined the drama society, it was as simple as that; the theatrical bug bit. I worked out fairly quickly that I was of too nervous a disposition to be an actor, so playwriting was really a vicarious mode of performance for me.”

For more information on the word vicarious, please visit the following Web sites:

Works Cited:
“Vicarious.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 11th Ed., 2004. Print.

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