This Week in Words: August 13-18, 2017

No time to scour the headlines or watch the news? No problem! We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, debated, and discussed this week. Sometimes we need to find comfort wherever we can, so in this installment we're aiming for a mix of the heavy and the light. Beliefs were espoused and condemned. Statues across the US were excised, and a plaza in Spain was cordoned off. The late great Prince was officially given his own purple hue, and a century-old fruitcake was found to be only slight rancid. We take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. espouse
    choose and follow a theory, idea, policy, etc.
    James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old who traveled to Virginia from Ohio, had espoused extremist ideals at least since high school... The Washington Post (August 13, 2017)
    James Alex Fields Jr. is charged as the driver who rammed his car into a gathering of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. The counter-protesters had gathered in response to a march staged by a white nationalist group protesting the removal of Confederate statues.
  2. equivocal
    uncertain as a sign or indication
    Mr. Trump, after two days of issuing equivocal statements, bowed to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody weekend demonstrations in Charlottesville. - The New York Times (August 14, 2017)
    President Trump drew criticism from both sides of the political aisle after his first address following the events in Virginia was viewed by many as not being a strong enough condemnation. His critics wanted the president to condemn by name the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis. After two days, the president gave a second speech where he called out these groups. The next day, however, the President appeared to equivocate again.
  3. yearn
    desire strongly or persistently
    Justin Thomas yearned to win a major, any major. Competitors can’t be choosers. - The New York Times ( August 13, 2017)
    Justin Thomas won golf's PGA Championship this week. Thomas is viewed by some as one of a new breed of young golfers who can make the game exciting again for a new generation of fans. To do this, however, he will probably have to have a string of major wins and a heated rivalry with another golfer to drive stories on the sports pages. So far, neither of these has materialized.
  4. rancid
    having an offensive smell or taste
    There was a very, very slight rancid butter smell to it, but other than that, the cake looked and smelled edible,” - The New York Times (August 13, 2017)
    Jokes about ancient fruitcake are common during the Christmas holiday season, but seldom heard in the summer heat. Yet this week brought us the ultimate fruitcake story. A 106-year-old fruitcake was found in Antarctica, and it was pretty well preserved. Was it the cold? The pungent candied fruit? Even in Antarctica, where a taste of home may have been welcome, these scientists passed on sampling the fruitcake.
  5. horrendous
    causing fear or dread or terror
    The only thing I bought in there was a fruit danish as the queues were horrendous and the bakery was the only one without a queue. No cheese. - (August 14, 2017)
    Both of our more lighthearted mentions this week involve food. This may top the previously mentioned fruitcake story: a British Cheese Festival ran out of — cheese! The event's organizers said that they didn't anticipate there would be such a demand for the festival's namesake dairy product. One job, people. You had one job...
  6. tepid
    feeling or showing little interest or enthusiasm
    Three chief executives from top American companies resigned from a presidential business council on Monday following President Trump’s tepid initial response to a violent weekend in Charlottesville, Va. - The New York Times ( August 14, 2017)
    One of the subsequent consequences of the president's equivocating on the events in Virginia and was the resignation of several prominent business executives from the presidential business council. The council has since disbanded altogether.
  7. hue
    the quality of a color determined by its dominant wavelength
    Prince’s estate and the Pantone Color Institute have teamed up to honor him with his very own hue of purple called “Love Symbol #2”—a nod the thing he changed his name to in the ‘90s - (August 14, 2017)
    There is now an official shade of purple associated with the late, great Prince. He had purple cars, purple pianos, and was often known as "The Purple One" in the press. You can see the exact shade of purple here.
  8. persist
    refuse to stop
    If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the restraint of the DPRK [North Korea], the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared," - ( August 14, 2017)
    There was also some good political news this week. It appears that North Korea has backed down from its threat to launch a missile at the United States territory of Guam. Last week was all about the fear of nuclear war with North Korea, so we should all breathe a sigh of relief that this threat as abated, at least for now.
  9. condemn
    express strong disapproval of
    President Trump on Tuesday insisted that he did nothing wrong on Saturday when he declined to specifically condemn Nazi and white supremacist groups... - The New York Times (August 15, 2017)
    After President Trump's second statement about the Virginia riot, where he specifically condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis, he held a press conference where he defended the first statement, the one he was roundly criticized for, the one that compelled those executives to quit his business council.
  10. implode
    burst inward
    Mr. Trump described his strategy as, “Let Obamacare implode, then deal.” - The New York Times (August 15, 2017)
    President Trump has been advocating the implosion of Obamacare for a very long time. This week, the Congressional Budget Office released figures that gave us an idea ofwhat letting it implode would mean. Among other consequences, cutting the subsidies to Obamacare would increase many patients' premiums by as much as a 20%, and would increase the budget deficit by almost $200 billion dollars.
  11. disband
    cause to break up or cease to function
    President Trump’s main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president’s controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. - The New York Times (August 16, 2017)
    On Wednesday, as a consequence of even more CEOs resigning from the his business advisory councils, President Trump disbanded the council altogether.
  12. excise
    remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line
    With no immediate public notice, no fund-raising, and no plan for a permanent location for the monuments once they had been excised ... - The New York Times (August 16, 2017)
    In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the mayor of Baltimore has taken down its own statues depicting symbols of the Confederacy. This was done quickly and quietly, in the hopes of avoiding another violent clash.
  13. cordon
    a series of sentinels or posts enclosing some place or thing
    The police cordoned off the Plaza de Cataluña and Las Ramblas in the heart of Barcelona, both tourist destinations, and began a chaotic pursuit for the people who carried out the attack. - The New York Times (August 17, 2017)
    In Barcelona, Spain, terrorists drove a vehicle into a crowd of people in a busy outdoor shopping plaza, killing 13 and injuring 80. A day later, another car attached occurred 75 miles away. This is the worst day of terrorism in Spain since 2004 when a series of bombs on commuter trains killed 191 and injured 1,800.
Created on August 14, 2017 (updated August 18, 2017)

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