Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Jul 8 15:53:59 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 08:50:25AM -0700, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> NYT Magazine, 7/5/09, Mark Leibovitch, "On the Coast of Crazy" (about
> Gavin Newsom), p. 29:
>   He is vivacious and something of a political thrill-seeker ...
> my eye was caught by "vivacious", which sounded a bit odd to me used
> of a man.  NOAD2 says:
>   (esp. of a woman) attractively lively and animated
> (AHD4 and the OED have no note.)
> raw google webhits have "she is vivacious" slightly ahead of "he is
> vivacious", but only slightly.  and the relevant OED cites are pretty
> well balanced.  so i'm not sure why i (and NOAD2) associate
> "vivacious" with women more than men.

FWIW, I share this association.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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