Jimmy Breslin (1929-2017) Tribute List

Newspaper Columnist Jimmy Breslin died on March 19, 2017 at the age of 88. Jimmy Breslin was the last of New York's powerful newspaper columnists, a heavy drinking, cigar-chomping writer who championed the little guy and took down the corrupt who were in power. Breslin was so well known that in 1977, the Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz, sent taunting notes to him, knowing that all would be made aware of Berkowitz's spree because everyone read Breslin's column. As the quotes below show, Breslin's voice was uniquely colorful. Here are eleven vocabulary words from quotes from Jimmy Breslin.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. pretentious
    creating an appearance of importance or distinction
    Don't call me a journalist; I hate the word. It's pretentious!
  2. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    Why something in the public interest such as television news can be fought over, like a chain of hamburger stands, eludes me.
  3. mediocrity
    ordinariness as a consequence of being average
    Media, the plural of mediocrity.
  4. bastardized
    deriving from more than one source or style
    The office of president is a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
  5. genuflect
    bend the knees and bow in a servile manner
    The office of president is a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
  6. resentment
    a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
    People born in Queens, raised to say that each morning they get on the subway and "go to the city," have a resentment of Manhattan, of the swiftness of its life and success of the people who live there.
  7. invariably
    without change, in every case
    Out in the ocean, a rope is put around the man's neck. The other end of the rope is attached to an old jukebox and it is thrown overboard. The man invariably follows.
  8. laceration
    a torn ragged wound
    Complainant received immediate lacerations of the credibility.
  9. tenement
    a run-down apartment house barely meeting minimal standards
    Reporting is all about legwork, getting out and finding the story. But all the stories are on the top floors, so you have to learn to climb stairs. That's what reporting is all about, climbing tenement stairs.
  10. immaculate
    without fault or error
    I can barely handle legitimate people. They all proclaim immaculate honesty but each day they commit the most serious of all felonies, being a bore. To whom do you care to listen - Warren Buffett, the second-richest and single most boring person on earth, or Burt Kaplan out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn?
  11. fortify
    make strong or stronger
    Whiskey betrays you when you need it most. You think it will fortify you, but it weakens you.

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