Words: extroversion, n.

A RECENT edition of The New York Times referred to the salsa singer India's extroversion. It can mean a malformed bladder, and one trusts that this is not the reason for her shimmying performances.

It also surfaces in the genteel purlieux of Lorrie Moore's recent collection of stories, Birds of America. Somebody stares "at her own reflection: in an attempt at extroversion, she had worn a tunic with large slices of watermelon depicted on the front".

It is a logical develop- ment from the adjective extrovert, but little used in England. Originally, in the 17th century, it had a religious, mystical connotation, and acquired its psychological tang in the 1920s, but the OED last notes its use in 1959. Lorrie Moore would surely add local colour to the entry.

Comments