Here’s a powerful word that gets across a sophisticated point in short order. I came across it recently in a Charles Krauthammer piece in which he warned:
We must now brace ourselves for disquisitions* on peer pressure, adolescent anomie and rage.
Here’s my short course on anomie:
What it Means: Unrest or instability brought on by a breakdown of ethics, standards, and values.
How to Use It: “The anomie and anger of the German people after World War I gave rise to the fascist power-grab.”
About the Word: “Anomie” comes from a Greek word meaning “lawlessness,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean insurrection. It’s an expressive and precise word because it conveys the idea of festering alienation that could gradually lead to a social breakdown; you can also use it to apply to uncertainty, purposeless, or aimlessness stemming from a lack of ideals.
*I covered disquisition in a previous post