This Week in Pop Culture: December 29, 2018 - January 4, 2019

We've scoured this week's entertainment news and rounded up our favorite vocab words from the stories that everyone's buzzing about.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. battalion
    a large indefinite number
    So Reputation is a tribute to her epic ambition, with a dazzling battalion of dancers, pyro explosions, video screens and giant inflatable snakes, including a 63-foot cobra named Karyn.
    - Rolling Stone (Dec 31, 2018)
    The concert film Taylor Swift: The Reputation Stadium Tour premiered on Netflix this week. It's an account of one of the most financially successful tours in history, which sold nearly three million tickets and visited four continents. Battalion was originally a military term referring to a sizable group of soldiers, but it has also come to mean any large, organized group of people with a common purpose.
  2. bromide
    a trite or obvious remark
    That involves a bunch of self-help bromides, as well as poor man’s sci-fi scriptwriting along the lines of: “One false move and you will be stuck in a simulation forever! Be careful, Gaga.”
    - Variety (Dec 29, 2018)
    Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas residency began at the Park Theater with her show entitled Lady Gaga Enigma. Gaga, who is considered a favorite for an Oscar nomination for her role in A Star is Born, sang all her biggest hits. Critics have mocked the pseudo sci-fi storyline that binds the concert together, but without this framing device, it’s hard to justify the shiny robot that she rides across the stage, and who doesn't want to see that?
  3. disarming
    capable of allaying hostility
    So let’s take a moment to reflect on how we can bring more love and peace into 2019. In this new year, let’s commit to disarming people with unexpected acts of kindness.
    - Rolling Stone ( Jan 1, 2019)
    Pop icon Madonna made an appearance at a small, surprise show on New Year’s Eve in New York City. Accompanied only by her son on acoustic guitar, Madonna sang “Like A Prayer” and the Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
  4. grace
    a state of sanctification by God
    Two months since news emerged of a new face tattoo for the Grammy-winning pop crooner, a tattoo artist has officially shared an up-close look at the ink just in time for the new year. Just above his right eyebrow, Bieber is now sporting the word " grace" in script.
    - E! ( Jan 1, 2019)
    Justin Bieber got something tattooed above his right eyebrow a few months ago, but exactly what it was has remained a mystery until now. Sources have confirmed that The Biebs' new ink is the word “Grace." Bieber often references God in his social media posts, and has been seen at church services. In the religious sense of the word, Grace is the state of being in God’s favor.
  5. impinge
    infringe upon
    Article 6 of the Saudi anti-cyber crime law, which was cited by the Saudi commission in its request to Netflix, prohibits the “production, preparation, transmission or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals and privacy” on the internet.
    - The New York Times ( Jan 1, 2019)
    Netflix has blocked an episode of “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” from airing in Saudi Arabia at the request of the Saudi government. The episode is critical of the Saudi Prince and his role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi government claims that this criticism violated its strict anti-cybercrime law, which some observers say is merely an excuse for censorship.
  6. jeer
    a mocking or contemptuous remark
    But some Twitter users’ jeers and anger got to the 17-year-old senior from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, Florida.
    - USA Today ( Jan 1, 2019)
    Claire Sattler not only won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament and the $100,000 prize, she also withstood the slings and arrows of Twitter when the episodes aired. Sattler's every expression was dissected by viewers, some of whom characterized her as a villain. Unfortunately, even moderate fame on the internet makes you a target for online bullies.
  7. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    The new season also comes with an ominous tagline, as Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) holds hands with Mike (Finn Wolfhard) in a just-released teaser poster.
    “One summer can change everything,” reads the poster, which also features fireworks and the other major characters of the show.
    - People ( Jan 1, 2019)
    The third season of Stranger Things has will debut on Netflix on July 4, 2019. The announcement of the premiere date came along with an interesting poster depicting Eleven and Mike holding hands while some sort of creepy creature ominously watches them from the woods. The new season will be set in 1985.
  8. percolate
    permeate or penetrate gradually
    “I’ve been tinkering with an idea for a few months and it just started to percolate and we’re all really happy about it,” he shared.
    - ET Online (Dec 31, 2018)
    The multi-talented John Krasinski has announced that he is writing a sequel to last year’s hit thriller A Quiet Place. The movie was a huge success, taking in $188 million on a budget of only $17 million. Krasinski says that the sequel will be set in the larger world that the first film set up, rather than a straight sequel that focuses on the main characters from the first movie.
  9. raucous
    unpleasantly loud and harsh
    Delivering a rough and raucous stand-up set, Mr. Davidson, 25, a “Saturday Night Live” cast member, also sought to move past his ill-fated engagement to the pop star Ariana Grande. - The New York Times ( Jan 1, 2019)
    “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson made his return to stand-up this week. It was his first comedy set since the end of his engagement to pop songstress Ariana Grande. Davidson joked about his ex and seemed in good spirits, which comforted his fans after Davidson’s recent social media posts. In this example, raucous refers to the audience's loud and uncontrolled laughter.
  10. resonate
    evoke or suggest a strong meaning or belief
    The trident-wielding hero has resonated in a big way overseas, pulling in $562 million from international markets.
    - Variety ( Jan 1, 2019)
    Aquaman was the champ at the box office this week, bringing its domestic gross to over $180 million. The movie’s box office performance is how is even better overseas, with $260 million earned from its Chinese release. The film has made $750 million dollars in total.

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