Key Term Four – Disingenuous


Extension of Paulo’s Word


Disingenuous – lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous, insincere.


Disingenuous seems like such a dirty word. (At first I pictured the words that started with “Dis” – disturbing, disgusting.) As Paulo said, it’s a word used to explain that someone is saying something that isn’t completely true, or honest.

However, I take a certain comfort in the wooden feeling of someone or something that is disingenuous. When I see a politician lying, it gives me a sense of satisfaction to see them sweat. I would be forever more outraged to see someone lying perfectly up on a stand, as opposed to hemming and hawing and attempting to plead with an audience. An adjective that describes a persona, disingenuous people help us to understand who exactly is, in fact, genuine.

I’m not often unimpressed with New York, but during the election this year (which I could not vote for, being both underage and not a resident), I kept up with the utter mess of Anthony Weiner. I would read about his photos, his text conversations with his mistress du jour, and feel my anger grow as I read the responses of the New Yorkers that had commented on the article. ”I’m not a priest,” one of them stated. “I don’t care if he lied.” Another woman commented. “If he is what’s best for New York, who cares?” Despite his disingenuous persona, despite his repulsive behavior with a shred of power, people still considered him a worthy candidate to be in charge of one of the most powerful cities in the world. It calls into question – are people really angry about disingenuity, as they say they potentially would be? What does it mean to have a city of people that truly don’t care about one lie, but would be horrified to discover others?


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