by Rachel Podnar
35 days ago
Posted In: Life
at 01:14 PM | Permalink
In case you need a dictionary with the June 18 issue of CityBeat
Did you know that it's someone's job to read the entire newspaper searching for everybody else's mistakes? Well it is, and this common method of editorial quality control is my job for the summer — I read every issue of CityBeat (yes, every single page, even the Eats: "Classes and Events," which is painful) and look for typos, misspellings, incorrect facts, AP style or grammar slip ups. I'm trying to catch all of it so the copy you read is clean and you aren't thinking "What the hell was CityBeat on this week?" It's not just leisure reading. Sometimes the band names are so obscure I can't find them online to fact-check. Can I stop pretending I've heard of any of these groups? If my enrollment in college means I read at a college level, then some of CityBeat's writers must have doctoral degrees because they're throwing out some pretty ostentatious vocabulary. I keep noticing crazy words I've never heard of and I can’t be
the only one. I am, however, the only one who has to check (*cough, editors*). I Google them, just hoping the writer used it incorrectly and I can smirk as I mark it with my red pen. So far, no dice. Anyways, here’s a roundup of the words that gave me a double
take this week. I’ll grab the dictionary so you don’t have to (you probably weren’t
planning on it anyway).
Adroit: skillful, adj.
congratulations if you already knew this one, I felt the need to double-check.
Turns out I’m not so adroit at vocab, ha.
In the paper: “the sisters are adroit
in doing makeup for film production,” in “Style Sisters” about makeup maven duo
Andrea and Ashley Lauren. Sounds like the pair is adroit in business savvy as
well, they were the first in the Midwest to open up a blowout bar.
Cognoscenti: someone with an informed appreciation, n.
of the week* Maybe I just like it because of its Italian origin; cognoscenti rolls off the tongue. I’d never heard it before, but now I’ll be
sure to tell everyone what a shopping cognoscenti I am.
In the paper: “the soccer
cognoscenti” in this week's cover story, “Ballin’ in Brazil.” You can pretty much get the definition
from context clues, but using the French version of the word, synonym
"connoisseur," wouldn’t have been the same because, to me, it evokes food. Bonus
tidbit: Both cognoscenti and connoisseur are derivatives of the Latin
cognōscere, which means, “to know.”
Diaspora: the dispersion
of a group from the same culture, n.
think diaspora may be experiencing a moment lately. I’ve run into it a few times
lately, once in reference to the relationship between Russia and the Ukraine.
In the paper: “my family’s diaspora” in
Kathy Wilson’s “A Day in the Life.” Wilson uses it to describe the splintering
of her immediate family over the years in a piece about randomly running into her brother and a thoughtful longtime reader.
Eponymous: work named after its creator or central character, adj.
surprised this word isn’t used more often, considering all the situations in
which it could be applied. I’m thinking, Spongebob,
Forrest Gump and *NSYNC’s self-titled
album, all eponymous.
In the issue: “Those Darlins
eponymous debut album,” in Sound Advice. Spoiler alert, the album is called “Those Darlins.”
Incisive: keen, acute, adj.
seeing incisive in the subhead, I assumed metal band Agalloch's music could also be
described as “biting.” From reading about the band’s woodsmoke, wrought iron
and moss-informed music sensibility, however, I had to check and see if there
was another definition. Turns out incisive also means “keen,” which more
closely describes the band’s discipline and vision.
the issue: “incisive metal outfit” in the subhead for music lead story on
Agalloch, “The Devil is in the Details.”
Bonus… my favorite word
from last week: Amalgam
I don’t remember the story it was used in a week ago, but it’s just a noun for
a blend or combination. Like, “I
enjoy an amalgam of iced decaf from Lookout Joe, Coffemate creamer and
back next week, too. I’ll be documenting the growing body of words known to me here on the blog until August.Rachel Podnar writes "From the Copy Desk" weekly from her desk as CityBeat's intern copy editor. Her job is to find and correct everybody else's mistakes, occasionally referencing a dictionary to check one of our more pretentious educated writers' choices of words. She rounds up and recaps the best ones here.
by Rachel Podnar
21 days ago
Posted In: Life
at 12:51 PM | Permalink
In case you need a dictionary with the July 2 issue of CityBeat
right guys, you know the drill. I found nine words this week to choose from,
the most I’ve noticed so far. Maybe the writers are doing it on purpose?
sure to check out the issue (and subsequently this blog) before the Fourth of
July food coma and drunken stupor sets in. That doesn't give you much time so you'd better get started ...
Autodidactic: like a
self-taught person, adj.
could have figured this out without wordreference.com if I would have just
thought about it a little bit — auto,
meaning self and dictact, meaning
teaching. It makes sense; it’s just that people use this word even less than
they learn things for themselves.
the paper: “I just wanted to write because, autodidactic as I am, I had the
sense to know that writers write,” in Kathy Y. Wilson’s “No. 104.” Can I make a
joke about Kathy’s autodidactic deduction? Yes, writers write, but as opposed
to what, exactly?
Cogent: appealing to the
mind or reason, adj.
can’t think of a cogent reason why I like this word, but I do. FYI, it’s
the paper: Looks like Kathy Y. Wilson pulled a double-vocab-hitter this week, “He
[Danny Cross] said cogent things to me about my voice, my skill set and my
value to this city” in “No. 104,” describing how our editor got her to start writing this column two years ago. I
can’t really imagine Danny saying anything cogent (jokes, jokes) but whatever
he said must have worked if she’s been back for 104 weeks of columns (much more
impressive than my short tenure as copy editor/blogger).
Epocha: the beginning of
a distinctive period in the history of anything, n.
turn to Epoch in your dictionary, because even the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary
said so. Epocha is the Latin version of epoch because John Adams just had to be
the paper: Although it appeared in Isaac Thorn’s “The Fourth of July and Me” sidebar, the credit for this one goes to John Adams. Apparently he screwed up pretty
big time when he thought what we celebrate as the Fourth of July was supposed
to the Second of July. “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable
Epocha in the History of American,” Adams said.
Je ne sais
quoi: French phrase, meaning
a quality that cannot be described or expressed, n.
borrowed from other languages that we are supposed to understand when used in
an English sentence are hard. I know what déjà
vu and pièce de résistance mean,
but come on, isn't this the Fourth of July issue?
the paper: Shout out to “Beygency Officer” Jac Kern aka Arts and Culture Editor
for mixing in some French with her English this week. Also for changing the
masthead to say “Beygency Officer,” I’m guessing because she had the privilege
Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run show this past weekend. I
personally have never seen the ‘90s lifetime movie The Face on the Milk Carton so I can’t give you a hint as to what Jac meant when she wrote "[The new MTV series Finding Carter] could be watchable, but will surely lack that '90's lifetime movie je ne sais quoi," in her TV roundup. I did, however, try and read the eponymous book
when I was in fifth grade, but I was 11 years old and I distinctly remember
being uncomfortable with the teenage sexual tension between the main character
and her neighbor.
give Jac *Pick of the Week* this week because the Beygency Officer thing was so
funny and I haven’t thought about The
Face on the Milk Carton since 2005 and she taught us all some French.
Pilsner: a tall slender footed glass for beer, n.
I read this in the paper, I thought "Wow I wonder what a pilsner is," and I was
extremely disappointed when Google Images just showed what I would describe as
a “beer glass but not a stein.” Maybe you all knew what a pilsner was (it is
also a type of beer) and I’m just showing my age (20) or lack of class.
the paper: “These boys know how to have fun and get a laugh, whether it’s
drinking wine out of a pilsner glass…” in Nick Grever’s “Kings of Power” about
the comically named Martin Luther and the Kings band. Now that I now what a
pilsner glass is, I can appreciate the quantities of wine they drink during
round: This is more grammar than vocab, but which is correct, upward or upwards?
It’s always upward, regardless of
what you may say in conversation. Upward as in “The car cost upward of
$30,000,” according to my handy dandy 2012 Associated Press Stylebook.
if you’re studying for a spelling bee and dying to know what words didn’t make
the cut, you can click for caliphate, contrived and histrionics
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary’s 2012 updates
included crowning “F-bomb,” “sexting” and “man cave” official words.
’Murica! WORLD +1