This Week in Words: July 1-7, 2017

Too wrapped up in Fourth of July festivities to watch the news? Did you use the newspaper to light a grill instead of reading it? No problem! We’ve rounded up the top ten words heard, read, debated, and discussed this week. There were plenty of pyrotechnics — sparks flew between unusual adversaries, with much of the battle taking place in a fusillade of tweets back and forth. Is the matchup of The President vs. Mika Brzezinski spreading too much acrimony? Is the President's attack on CNN something to denounce? The United States and North Korea squared off too, as each accused the other of provocation. Pop culture wasn't immune from tension either. The friction between Jay-Z vs. Kanye West is heating up, and both are far from invincible. Rising above all of these fireworks was Steph Curry, who fulfilled the dreams of anyone who has ever dribbled a basketball by signing a deal with the Warriors worth over $200 million dollars. Take a look back on the week that was, vocabulary-style.
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Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. reticent
    temperamentally disinclined to talk
    “[A]bsent such a bipartisan, bicameral agreement, we are reticent to support any budget resolution on the House floor,” the letter reads.
    - politico.com
    This quote is from a letter to the Republican leadership about the current budget proposal. Reticent isn't really the best word choice here — if you are reticent you are reluctant to discuss something, and obviously the authors are discussing the issue. Clearly the group doesn't want to support the resolution — they are not reticent about it. They may be willing to shout their opinion from rooftops. A word like reluctant would be more fitting.
  2. invincible
    incapable of being overcome or subdued
    You walkin' around like you invincible
    You dropped outta school, you lost your principles
    - JAY-Z, Kill JAY-Z
    Jay-Z's new album 4:44 was released this week. The lyrics address all aspects of the rapper's life, including his relationship with his wife Beyoncé in light of the revelations on her album "Lemonade." These particular lyrics are said to be about Jay-Z's relationship with Kanye West — the rumor mill has it that Beyoncé doesn't like Kanye's wife, Kim Kardashian. Awkward! Imagine being the most powerful woman in hip hop and still being forced to hang out with someone you can't stand!
  3. acrimony
    a rough and bitter manner
    President Trump’s extraordinary attack on the television host Mika Brzezinski on Thursday capped a week of mounting acrimony between the White House and the press.
    - The New York Times
    President Trump penned a tweet criticizing "Low-I.Q. Mika" and accusing her of having a facelift. Twitter blew up like the sky on the Fourth of July over this, with critics claiming this was another of the president's attacks on female journalists and the President's defenders saying Brzezinski's attacks on Trump had started the whole thing. Much like a fireworks display, the rivalry was loud and attention-grabbing for awhile, but it soon faded away (at least to some degree).
  4. provocation
    a means of arousing or stirring to action
    In Seoul, Mr. Moon, who during his election campaign this year advocated talks with the North, met with senior security officials to discuss the latest provocation, his office said.
    - The New York Times
    South Korea's new President, Moon Jae-in, visited the White House this week to discuss with President Trump how to deal with continuing North Korean aggression. Then, later in the week, North Korea tested what is believed to be a long range ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska, a violation of United Nations sanctions against the country.
  5. fusillade
    rapid simultaneous discharge of firearms
    From economic data to the tech sector’s meltdown and even President Donald Trump’s fusillade of tweets, there will be no dearth of catalysts for stocks in the first several trading days of July.
    - marketwatch.com
    Whatever your view of President Trump's behavior on Twitter, " fusillade of tweets" is a phrase you can endorse to describe them. Fusillade is normally associated with a hail of gunfire, bullets flying everywhere. Similarly, the tweets come fast and furious, often in bursts, with the intent of pummeling their target into submission.
  6. poignant
    arousing affect
    But there’s also something poignant about the way the movie acknowledges and embraces the character’s teenage fallibility, his human error. This is a Spider-Man who can’t drive yet, who hasn’t entirely conquered his fear of heights, who cries when in pain.
    - avclub.com
    Spider-Man: Homecoming is one of the first big releases of the summer movie season. Summer movies, especially ones involving superheroes, are loud and exciting, and poignant which is a quiet, emotional word, isn't usually associated with these kinds of movies.
  7. moratorium
    suspension of an ongoing activity
    Golden State General Manager Bob Myers said a contract would be finalized with the Warriors star Stephen Curry once the free agency moratorium ends on July 6th... Curry’s agent, Jeff Austin of Octagon Sports, first told ESPN that the deal would be worth $201 million over five years, a record for the N.B.A.
    - The New York Times
    The NBA champion Golden State Warriors will pay Steph Curry $201 million for five years. It's the extra $1 million that we don't understand. Was the nice round number of $200 million an insult? Did Curry want to be that much closer to the Gross Domestic Product of Palau (He's got the Marshall Islands solidly beat.)? Is it a tax strategy for the mega-rich? Whatever the reason for the extra million, Curry's contract sets a record for N.B.A. Basketball.
  8. culmination
    a concluding action
    Little Rock’s crime problem appears to be intensifying. Every few days it seems a high-profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning’s event,”
    - Gov. Asa Hutchinson, on Arkansas nightclub shooting to The Associated Press
    A shooting at an Arkansas nightclub injured 28 people. The governor used the word culmination because although there have been other acts of violence, this is the worst incident this area has seen — a culmination is a final, large act in a series of smaller acts. Governor Hutchinson expressed the hope that the nightclub shooting is the end to this streak of violence, and that no further acts occur.
  9. deter
    try to prevent; show opposition to
    The administration said the arrests would deter families from putting children in the hands of smugglers for dangerous journeys through regions controlled by drug cartels.
    - The New York Times
    In order to discourage, or deter, parents from putting their children into the custody of criminals who will smuggle their kids into the United States, the Trump administration has enacted a policy that would punish the parents of these children.
  10. denounce
    speak out against
    The wrestling video, which was also posted to the official @POTUS Twitter account, stirred criticism, disbelief and dumbfoundedness. Some journalists denounced its portrayal of violence as dangerous, saying it could incite attacks or threats against news media employees.
    - The New York Times
    There were more pyrotechnics from the world of politics this week when President Trump attacked CNN for sharing a re-edited video using Trump's appearance as a guest at professional wrestling event. The CNN clip shows him tackling a man with a CNN logo superimposed over his face.

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