June 19, 2021

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Word + Quiz: doctrinaire

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noun: a stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions

adjective: stubbornly insistent on theory without regard for practicality or suitability

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The word doctrinaire has appeared in 19 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 24 in “A Call for Investors to Put Their Money Toward a Green Future” by Paul Sullivan:

Some investors with a green focus have been too doctrinaire, which could make this approach challenging, said Rusty Vanneman, chief investment officer of Orion Advisor Solutions, which manages about $17 billion.

“You could have two people in the same room who agree about the details of climate change investing, but then they start fighting over the nuance,” he said. “Or let’s say the average company has a green score of 50. People don’t want to invest in a company with a score of 55. And they get angry and say, ‘I’m not going to invest if I can’t get 95 or 100.’”

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