January 27, 2022

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Word of the Day: tabula rasa

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1. an opportunity to start over without prejudice

2. something in its original state

3. a young mind not yet affected by experience (according to John Locke)

_________

The term tabula rasa has appeared in five articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Feb. 19 in “Shakespeare Troupe to Go Without an Artistic Director” by Michael Paulson:

The American Shakespeare Center in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley claims to have the world’s only replica of the indoor venue where Shakespeare’s company performed. And now it’s going to attempt another Shakespearean structure: an actor-led company.

The nonprofit announced Friday that its artistic director, Ethan McSweeny, had stepped down eight days earlier. The theater did not offer an explanation; McSweeny cited financial strain caused by the pandemic, but he was also facing complaints about the workplace climate from some employees.

“While the pandemic crisis metastasized this past fall, I increasingly found myself trying to conceive of an ASC that would enter 2021 tabula rasa, preparing to reshape itself for rebirth into a massively changed arts ecosystem and national economy,” McSweeny said in a statement on Facebook. “It turns out that part of what became necessary to give the company a truly blank slate was to erase myself as well.”

Can you correctly use the term tabula rasa in a sentence?

Based on the definition and example provided, write a sentence using today’s Word of the Day and share it as a comment on this article. It is most important that your sentence makes sense and demonstrates that you understand the word’s definition, but we also encourage you to be creative and have fun.

Then, read some of the other sentences students have submitted and use the “Recommend” button to vote for two original sentences that stand out to you.

If you want a better idea of how tabula rasa can be used in a sentence, read these usage examples on Vocabulary.com.

If you enjoy this daily challenge, try one of our monthly vocabulary challenges.

Students ages 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, can comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff.

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