This Week in Words: December 8 - 14, 2018

News flash! We’ve rounded up the top words heard, and read in the news this week. Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. allocation
    the act of distributing or apportioning according to a plan
    Research regarding the new farming technique shows that, given the proper allocation of resources and farm design, coal mine farms can successfully generate up to ten times more food than surface level farms.
    - Good News Network (Dec 10, 2018)
    As new, cleaner energy sources are developed, the question arises as to what to do with the sites devoted to the harvesting of outdated forms of energy. One innovative solution to this problem has been found in the United Kingdom, where old coal mines are being turned into underground farms. These farms are energy-efficient and immune from changes in the weather.
  2. compound
    make more intense, stronger, or more marked
    Mrs. May won the support of 200 Conservative lawmakers, while 117 voted against her. The protest vote exceeded many forecasts, and is expected to compound her difficulties in Parliament. Her enemies were already pressuring her.
    - The New York Times (Dec 12, 2018)
    Theresa May survived a “no confidence” vote on her leadership on Wednesday and will remain British Prime Minister. The victory may be short-lived, however, as this vote revealed just how much of Parliament is against the Brexit plan that she is trying to pass. There are also reports that May agreed to step down after the Brexit vote is over, so several parliamentarians may have voted for her with the expectation that she will not be around much longer.
  3. denizen
    a plant or animal naturalized in a region
    It’s hard to know exactly how damaging a deluge of scooters is for a body of water and its denizens.
    - Slate (Dec 10, 2018)
    Several major cities across the country have electric scooters available for rent. Customers can just leave them anywhere when their ride is over, and because they are equipped with GPS, the company can locate the scooters and round them up. But in San Francisco, vandals have thrown the scooters into lakes and other bodies of water. Now the companies have to grapple with environmental hazards posed by sunken scooters.
  4. deplorable
    bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure
    Trump has said the killing, while deplorable, should not jeopardize the 70-year U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia, which includes lucrative arms deals and joint pressure on Iran. - The Los Angeles Times (Dec 12, 2018)
    There was a resolution in the Senate this week calling for an end to the U.S. support of the war led by Saudi Arabia against Yemen. This action is both a response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government and a reaction to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, one of the poorest nations in earth. The Trump administration has emphasized that the U.S. needs to remain allies with Saudi Arabia, despite its deplorable behavior.
  5. detrimental
    causing harm or injury
    School districts across the country are banning homework, forbidding it on certain days or just not grading it, in response to parents who complain of overload and some experts who say too much can be detrimental.
    - The Wall Street Journal (Dec 12, 2018)
    More and more school districts around the country are eliminating or putting time limits on nightly homework for students. In some places formal homework is replaced by a certain amount of required reading per night.
  6. dissident
    a person who objects to some established policy
    Representative Nancy Pelosi is nearing a deal with dissident Democrats to limit herself to four years as speaker, according to two senior Democratic officials with knowledge of the emerging plan, her most consequential move to date to put down a rebellion in her ranks and clinch the votes she needs to win the gavel in January.
    - The New York Times (Dec 12, 2018)
    It looks like Nancy Pelosi has extinguished a rebellion that was brewing in the Democratic Party. Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, is scheduled to be the Democratic Leader when the Democratic House majority is sworn in next year. There were rumblings from within the party that Pelosi should be replaced as Speaker, but now it looks like a deal has been struck with those who objected.
  7. homogeneous
    all of the same or similar kind or nature
    In 2017, the agency released a report indicating that movies with multiethnic casts performed better on opening weekends than those with more homogeneous casts.
    - The New York Times (Dec 11, 2018)
    A new study suggests that movies with female protagonists make more money at the box office than those with male leading characters. This study follows up on one which suggested that movies with diverse casts did better than those with homogeneous casts. Both of these studies go against outdated assumptions in Hollywood, which held that male-centered stories with casts that all look alike are the elements needed to have a financially successful film.
  8. invective
    abusive language used to express blame or censure
    “Today, democracy around the world faces its biggest crisis in decades, its foundations undermined by invective from on high and toxins from below, by new technologies that power ancient impulses, by a poisonous cocktail of strongmen and weakening institutions,” Felsenthal wrote.
    - Variety (Dec 11, 2018)
    Time magazine awarded its annual Person of the Year award this week to the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi and other journalists who have given their lives for their professions or who are in peril. The Time honor is meant to commemorate the commitment of journalists who report the truth in hostile environments at a time when a free press is under threat in countries around the world.
  9. judicious
    marked by the exercise of good judgment in practical matters
    “Our industry promotes the judicious use of antibiotics to minimize the potential risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” the Colorado-based organization said.
    - The Chicago Tribune (Dec 11, 2018)
    McDonalds has announced that it will scale back the use of antibiotics in its meat in the coming years. Cows and chickens are fed antibiotics to treat and prevent diseases, but the worry is that overexposure to these drugs will make them less effective and result in drug-resistant organisms becoming dominant. This is the same reasoning behind doctors not overprescribing antibiotics to human patients who have minor colds or viruses that cannot be effectively treated with antibiotics.
  10. myriad
    too numerous to be counted
    But the gains he cited were the result of a myriad of border security strategies over two decades that included enhanced technology and an increase in border agents.
    - USA Today (Dec 12, 2018)
    President Trump met with Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the White House this week to discuss border security. President Trump said that Congress should fund his wall project, which he views as vital to border security. Pelosi and Schumer do not think that the construction of a wall is necessary, and that the issue should not be used as leverage to shut down the government. Trump says he will shut down the government if the wall is not funded in the new budget deal.

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