I was reading my copy of National Review (love that magazine... love it... it always gives me at least one or two new vocabulary words to use) and the word "anomie" was used. I had absolutely no idea what it meant; the context gave me some notion, but I still wanted to find the precise meaning of it. Here's what Merriam-Webster says:
anomie : social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also : personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals
It's pronounced "ANNA-me" and here's a context for you:
The fraying ligature of the landscape of the United States reveals an inner geography of alienation and anomie. Living on the island of Manhattan, I daily negotiate an urban layout of practical, but identity-decimating grids -- a cityscape of harsh, inhuman right angles ... a geography that renders street encounters abrupt, curt and intrusive.
Social Media and the Architecture of Anomie, Phil Rockstroh, 7/12/2010
I love learning new words... even bleak, depressing ones like anomie. In fact, I'm going to do my best to combat the anomie I find around me today. How about you?