This Week in Words: April 29 - May 4, 2018

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.

This week saw several situations unfold where an end to years of enmity is finally in sight. Kim Jong-Un was positively conciliatory about the prospect of denuclearization this week, after years of brazenly threatening to attack other countries. Eighteen films' worth of fictional conflict reached a pinnacle with the premier of Avengers: Infinity War.

Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. convergence
    the occurrence of two or more things coming together
    T-Mobile CEO John Legere said: " Convergence between mobile broadband and cable isn't just a hypothetical. It's a reality of our business on a day to day basis." - USA Today (Apr. 29, 2018)
    There is a proposed merger between two mobile phone powerhouses, T-Mobile and Sprint. Critics worry that this merger would decrease competition too much, and result in unfair rates for consumers. Others are less concerned because the two other major companies in the field, AT&T and Verizon, would still each have more customers than the T-Mobile/Sprint conglomeration. The merger must be approved by regulators before it goes through.
  2. pinnacle
    the highest level or degree attainable
    "Infinity War" is the pinnacle of a decade's worth of characters and storylines for Disney's Marvel. The studio has been one of the biggest success stories in film history bringing in roughly $15.3 billion globally. (Apr. 30, 2018)
    Avengers: Infinity War opened to record worldwide box office this week, amassing over $640 in one weekend. This Avengers movie is the culmination of a storyline that has been spread out over the course of eighteen films. The previous record holder for worldwide box office receipts was The Fate of the Furious, another installment in a long-running franchise, which took in $541 million last year.
  3. conciliatory
    making or willing to make concessions
    In a confidence-building gesture ahead of a proposed summit meeting with President Trump, a suddenly loquacious and conciliatory Mr. Kim also said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown next month of his country’s only known underground nuclear test site. - The New York Times (Apr. 29, 2018)
    Kim Jong-Un made several statements this week that indicate that he is serious about giving up his nuclear weapons. Kim Jong-Un has mentioned inviting outside inspectors to witness the shutdown of his nuclear program and also met with South Korean leaders in an effort to negotiate an end to their hostilities. So far, Kim Jong-Un has said all the right things, but he has been vague as to what he wants in return, and that is likely to be a sticking point in negotiations.
  4. dogma
    a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
    Nearly everyone thought the only people who would benefit from treatment were those who had been injured for less than a year; that was the dogma. Now we know the dogma is dead,” - (Apr. 30, 2018)
    Progress is being made to enable paralyzed patients to regain the use of their limbs. This method, which has been successful on 6 test subjects, is also simple and inexpensive, involving only electrodes attached to the patient's skin. The trial run has also had success on patients who have been paralyzed for years.
  5. brazen
    face with defiance or impudence
    Mr. Netanyahu said the documents obtained by Israel, which he said included 100,000 files on paper and discs, show that “Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program.” - The Wall Street Journal (May 1, 2018)
    Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on television in Israel and the United States to beg President Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. Netanyahu claimed he had proof that Iran has in fact been lying this entire time about its weapons. Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal stress that the deal provides for a seven year halt on an Iranian nuclear program, which is progress. President Trump has indicated that he doesn't think the deal is a good one.
  6. unilaterally
    by means of one part or party
    But through ICE arrests, Trump has been able to increase immigration enforcement unilaterally with no changes needed from Congress. - USA Today ( Apr. 30, 2018)
    Thomas Homan, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the Trump administration, has resigned. Under this administration, ICE has become a powerful tool to combat immigration violations, with raids and widespread arrests increasing under Homan's leadership. Critics say that sometimes the civil rights of those being arrested are being violated because they are not charged with crimes, merely detained. It is unclear who will replace Homan as the head of ICE.
  7. enmity
    a state of deep-seated ill-will
    “We are citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it.” - The New York Post (Apr. 30, 2018)
    John McCain, senator from Arizona, has announced that this will be his last term in Congress. McCain has a very serious form of brain cancer. In a new book to be released soon, McCain announces that he finally feels free to speak his mind now that he doesn't have to worry about re-election or maintaining friendly relationships with other members of Congress. Fans of political theater are anxiously awaiting some straight talk from McCain before his retirement.
  8. ebb
    a gradual decline in size or strength or power
    The bombings were the latest spasm of a conflict that began more than a decade and a half ago and shows no sign of ebbing. - The New York Times (Apr. 30, 2018)
    There were two bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan this week that killed twenty-five people in all, including nine journalists. It was the deadliest day for journalists in the region in over a decade. The terrorist group known as The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes on the heels of another attack which killed 57 people who were in line to vote.
  9. extrapolate
    draw from specific cases for more general cases
    On Monday evening, a source reiterated to CNN that the questions had been written by Trump's legal team, extrapolating from topics discussed with the special counsel, and confirmed the accuracy of topics as reported on by The New York Times. - (May 1, 2018)
    A list of questions which the Special Counsel's office would like to ask President Donald Trump has been leaked to the press. The questions deal with the Russian influence on the election but also touch on other potentially illegal activities, such as obstruction of justice. President Trump called the leak "disgraceful." Now that it is clear what information the Special Counsel will be seeking from Mr, Trump, he and his lawyers have to decide whether he will in fact testify.
  10. lather
    agitation resulting from active worry
    Those little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash in hotels—icons of travel—are disappearing, replaced by bulk dispensers mounted on shower walls. And some travelers are in a lather. - The Wall Street Journal (May 1, 2018)
    There is a major change under way in hotel rooms across America. The little bottles of shampoo are being replaced by big bottles of shampoo. The small bottles are now regarded as wasteful and not environmentally friendly. The quoted sentence contains a nice play on words, capitalizing on two definitions of the word lather. People are agitated, or in a lather, over shampoo and soap which themselves create another, more tangible, kind of lather.

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