WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Samantha Gellin 01.29.2015 30 days ago
Posted In: Commentary at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
from the copy editor

From the Copy Desk

In case you need a dictionary with the Jan. 28 issue of CityBeat

Good morning readers! After a break last week, I'm back at it. I know you've all been waiting anxiously for your next vocabulary lesson. (And by that I mean not at all.)This week, Kathy Wilson's editorial on the infamous letter the mayor of Norwood penned to Norwood's police department is full of Words Nobody Uses or Knows. Well, just four, but that's a lot for one article. I'll start with my favorite: bon mot.  In French, bon mot literally translates to good word. (Woo! All my years of French classes finally paid off!)  In the states, though, bon mot is defined as an apt, clever, or witty remark (n.)In this issue: "In a letter dated Dec. 22 that has now come to light, Norwood Mayor Thomas F. Williams penned a bon mot to the Norwood Police Department slamming black civil rights leaders and do-nothing politicians, warning officers — like a roll call from a long-ago episode of Hill Street Blues — to 'be careful out there,' ending that he, for one, will always have their backs."Next best word in Kathy's piece is flummoxed, which is  pronounced flum-eks. (I kept thinking it was pronounced flu-mox.)flummox: to confuse or perplex someone (trans. verb)In this issue: "People are talking about you in these streets and they’re mainly flummoxed by your letter and how it and you can go unnoticed."The third word in Kathy's editorial that caught my eye is kowtowing. kowtow: to be submissive or subservient to someone, or to kneel and touch the ground with your forehead as an act of worship (trans. verb)In this issue: "Clearly, Mayor Williams can say Ferguson, Long Island and Cleveland. Further, he must be watching endless pundits on, probably, Fox News espouse how this country has been run off the rails by gutless politicians kowtowing to bullying black thugs running and rioting in the streets."And, finally, the last word in Kathy's piece (but not in our lesson) is meted.  I have a feeling this isn't an unusual or pretentious word at all, but I've never heard of it.meted: to allot; distribute; apportion: usually with out (trans. verb)In this issue: "The KKK was also formed as a fraternity of like-minded, fed-up brethren who sidestepped the law and meted out their own form of justice, all while stitching their rebel flags with the threads of “us versus them.”The other pretentious word in this week's issue, polymath, was found in Anne Arenstein's piece on Opera Fusion.  It sounds very much like an algebra word (anybody remember polynomials? *shudder*) but it means a person of great and diversified learning (n.) Poly is Greek is for multiple or more than one. Makes sense!That's all I've got, readers, enjoy the weekend!
 
 
by Samantha Gellin 01.08.2015 51 days ago
Posted In: Commentary at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
from the copy editor

From the Copy Desk

In case you need a dictionary with the Jan. 7 issue of CityBeat

Afternoon, readers! So, there weren't many Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue. Our writers must not have been feeling so pretentious. Honestly, I found two, and one word was defined by the author IN the article. But it's just too great of a word to pass up in, so I'm going to expand upon it a bit in our vocab lesson.Flibbertigibbet. Yes, this is a real word; it even has its own Wikipedia page. It's found in the headline and in the text of this week's Spill It.flibbertigibbet (pronounced flibber-TEE-gibbit): a silly, scatterbrained, or garrulous person (n.)It's a Middle English word, meaning it's from the dialect of the Middle Ages, the 12th to 15th century. Today it's mostly used as a slang term in Yorkshire. (The English use all sorts of fabulous words, don't they?)Fun flibbertigibbet facts, according to the Google: The word has also been historically used as a name for a devil, spirit or fiend. In the book Charlotte's Web, the Goose says, "I am no Flibberty-ibberty-gibbet." Flibbertigibbet is also is the password used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to access Gryffindor's dormitory.In this issue: "Late last year, veteran multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Chris Arduser released the latest addition to his stellar discography, a new solo album titled Flibbertigibbet (yes, it’s a real word, meaning 'a flighty or excessively talkative person')."OK, the next and last word on my list is churlish. Again, this is a word I see a lot, but I don't actually know what it means. It's found in TT Stern-Enzi's piece: "The Future Is Now: A Sneak Peek at the Year".churlish: a rude, selfish or mean person (n.); boorish or vulgar (adj.)In this issue: "It would be churlish to focus on their misfires (Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho and Malick’s far-too-interior fever dream To the Wonder), even when such efforts, while frustrating, prove to be more inspired and riskier bets than the working hacks could ever imagine in a thousand years with all the riches of the world at their disposal."That's all I've got, readers. Try and stay warm this weekend (although when it's 0 degrees out, literally ZERO, this may be futile).
 
 
by Rachel Podnar 07.30.2014
Posted In: Life at 09:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
from the copy editor

From The Copy Desk

In case you need a dictionary with the July 30 issue of CityBeat

It would seem like we’ve made it, folks. The short-lived tenure of this little vocab blog has reached its end; let’s not get all sentimental about all the words we’ve learned. I’m going back to the land of Muncie, Indiana, where we don’t have cool stuff like altweeklies or rideshare competition, which you can read about in this week’s cover story. We have to like, walk home from a night out like the plebeian college students Nick ran into, because who can pay someone $24 to drive them home? That’s more money than I’m going to lose if I get jumped while walking. Anyway, I wish the future copy of CityBeat the best of luck until there’s a new copy editor and from now on, you’ll have to rely on context clues to decipher CityBeat writers' language. Acrimonious: caustic, stinging or bitter, adj. If something is acrimonious, I bet it sounds like a really bad song. It’s like harmonious, but acidic. Except, not at all. In the issue: “Hurricane Katrina forced a lengthy stay in Austin, Texas in 2005 and the following year saw the acrimonious departure of Huston,” in Brian Baker’s Sound Advice on The Iguanas. Maybe Huston just wished they had stayed in Houston instead of Austin and that’s why he left. Sounds sad. Looks like the rest of the band is still doing alright without him, playing shows and selling albums and whatnot. Mandala: a schematized representation of the cosmos in Oriental art, n. In my head I pictured this as a mandolin, a menorah and gondola all combined, but that’s just me. This is the first word in today’s blog under the category of Nouns You May Not Have Known and Will Never Use. In the issue “The first and last paintings in Elvis Suite are more like multi-bordered mandalas or horoscopic charts,” in Steven Rosen’s Art Shook Up (what a clever title) about the Elvis Presley portrait exhibit currently at the Carl Solway gallery. Yes, if you haven’t read the article yet, that’s right. There’s a series of calendar art focusing on Elvis of which the first and last pieces are schematized representations of the cosmos because that has so much to do with Elvis.  Morass: a troublesome situation difficult to get out of, n.; and "maelstrom": a disordered state of affairs, n. These words go great together. Next time you’re really upset just run around and be like “This is a maelstrom and a morass!” In the issue: “Maybe, in all the morass and maelstrom of confusion, violence and power play …” in Kathy Y. Wilson’s column, "Elevators," where she talked about domestic violence and briefly mentioned that elevators serve as a catalyst for it before talking about more serious things than elevators.  Tulpa: a being that is created in the imagination through visualization techniques such as in Tibetan mysticism, n. This is the second and final word of the day under Nouns You May Not Have Known and Will Never Use. In the Issue: Again in "Art Shook Up," Laffoley, the artist, said he wants to “take calendar art and turn it into a meditation series in which the fans attempt to recreate Elvis’ existence as a tulpa.” You read that right. That went from calendar art to mysticism real fast. I take back what I said earlier. You may use this word again. You may in fact use it if you take Laffoley’s advice and see these images of Elvis, he will become a choose-your-own-tulpa-Elvis: Will you pick the Christmas Album Elvis or the Aloha From Hawaii Elvis? 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 07.23.2014
Posted In: Life at 02:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
from the copy editor

From The Copy Desk

In case you need a dictionary with the July 23 issue of CityBeat

The well of vocab was no longer dry this week thanks to our cover story "America's Best Worst Politicians," a supplement from the Association of Alternative Newspapers. You’ve got to read it to believe it, folks. And yes, I copy edited the entire, 15-page piece (Oxford commas and all) and I inserted every single mean mug into the online version. Thanks to AAN reporters from across the country, you not only get to read about the horn dogs, user boozers and sleazeball politicians, but you also get to see some creative vocabulary up close. In addition to the locally grown content, of course. Strangely enough, all of the regular content eye-catching words start with the letter “P.”   paucity: smallness of quantity, n. “Few reporters note that rockets fired from Gaza are aimed at Israeli civilians, although they note the comparative paucity of Israeli victims,” in Ben L. Kaufman’s Curmudgeon Notes. Yet again, another week of worthy comments on the shortcomings of journalistic coverage. His comments on the reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are important albeit hard to understand.   portend: to foreshadow, v. (used with an object) “What does this all portend for the live presence of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah?” in Brian Baker’s Sound Advice for the CYHSY show. Actually, that’s a great question, considering the band used to have four members and at least three of them have left the group since 2011. I’m curious how this resolves itself on Fountain Square this Friday night.   prescient: to have knowledge of something before it exists, adj. “An example of how prescient the Alvins believe Broonzy to have been …” in Steven Rosen’s Bond of Brothers, describing the relationship two really old guys have with a record done by an even older guy that they listened to in their childhood.     America’s Best Worst Politicians Vocabulary   apprised: to  inform or tell someone, v. “Dayton explained he had been credibly, confidently apprised that the Capitol itself would be shortly laid waste by terrorists,” in Neal Karlen’s description of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Who apprised him of that? Also, who knew that someone who gave his own tenure in the Senate an “F” could be elected governor on a pity vote? I didn’t know it was so easy but then again, I don’t have $4 million to finance my own campaign.   moribund: in a dying state, near death, adj. “A defrocked demagogue, she still pretends her Tea Party is a reactionary revolution, not a moribund refuge for the Republicans’ traditional bloc of bat-shit crazy far-right-wingers,” in Karlen’s bit on Minnesota U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann. I hope Karlen’s use of moribund in relation to the Tea Party is accurate, but considering Bachmann’s talk of another presidential run in 2016, it may be wishful thinking. Karlen (if you ever read this), brace yourself because I’m sure you’ll have to cover that. Shout-out to Karlen, by the way, for using one of my personal favorite phrases, “bat-shit crazy.” I keep trying to convince my mother it’s a thing because obviously, it’s a thing.    opprobrium: harsh criticism or censure, n. “… Jan Brewer affixed her signature to the infamous, immigrant-bashing Senate Bill 1070 and rode a wave of xenophobia to electoral triumph… and liberal opprobrium,” in Stephen Lemons description of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. It wasn’t just “liberal opprobrium,” considering the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lot of the law as unconstitutional. Take that, Jan Brewer. When I was learning how to insert the photos, our design editor specifically said, “Use the photo where she’s laughing like the devil.”   troglodyte: a prehistoric cave-dweller, a person of degraded character or a person unacquainted with affairs of the world, n. “DeMint backed Todd ‘Legitimate Rape’ Akin, Richard ‘God Wants Rape Babies’ Mourdock and a host of other troglodyte true-believers,” in Chris Haire’s bit on South Carolina former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint. Troglodyte is the word of the week, hands down. Pick whatever definition you want, they all apply. Props to Haire for his ability to find the perfect word for such people. DeMint was one of my personal favorites on the list, for his views that gays and unwed heterosexual women having sex shouldn’t be allowed to teach in public schools. I’d love to hear his plans for unwed heterosexual men and how he would like to enforce these ideas.   Unfortunately, state schools in Indiana (or at least Ball State) start school really early (like August 18) so I’m heading back to Muncie and you lovely people only have one more week until you probably won’t notice the fabulous words in CityBeat anymore. Please return next week for my going away Fiesta Edition. I just made that up. 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 06.18.2014
Posted In: Life at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
from the copy editor

From the Copy Desk

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. OK, 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. *Pick 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.   I 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. I’m 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. From 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. In 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 No, 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 Splenda.” Check 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.
 
 

A Loss for Words

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 29, 2013
 This is, literally, some awesome, exclusive, breaking news: We, as humans, have words in our lexicon that have lost their meanings and/or garnered brand new, completely different meanings.   

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