They're wonderful. They're obscure. They're often quite pointless.
North Korean General: Trump 'Bereft' of Reason
Bereft rose to among our top lookups on the evening of August 9th, 2017, after the word was found in multiple news reports quoting a member of the North Korean military
A statement released Wednesday by the North Korean army says President Trump is "a guy bereft of reason." "Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him," reads the statement by General Kim Rak Gyom. It was released on state-run media.
—CBS News (CBS.com), 9 Aug. 2017
KCNA published a wire criticizing Trump for having "let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury,' failing to grasp the on-going grave situation. This is extremely getting on the nerves of the infuriated Hwasong artillerymen of the KPA [Korean People's Army]." The article goes on to state that "sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”
—CNN (cnn.com) 9 Aug. 2017
Bereft began as the past participle of the verb bereave, and in the 16th century underwent a process known as functional shift, which is when a word takes on the role of a different part of speech (in this case that of adjective).
When bereft is followed by a preposition, it is of.
He danced and kicked and generally carried on like a guy bereft of his reason.
—Oakland Tribune, 25 Jun. 1919
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