This Week in Pop Culture: January 26 - February 1, 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. blunder
    an embarrassing mistake
    Everyone makes mistakes, but fans noticed Ariana Grande made a more permanent blunder after she revealed her latest tattoo on Tuesday.
    - E! (Jan 30, 2019)
    Ariana Grande intended to get a “7 Rings” tattoo in Japanese to celebrate her new single reaching the top of the charts. Instead, she wound up with the name of a small charcoal grill inked on her hand. The blunder was the result of a missing character in the spelling. How do you spell "oops" in Japanese?
  2. dire
    fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless
    Paramedics arrived on the scene 10 minutes later and told Scott that, without his life-saving actions, the situation might have ended more direly.
    - Rolling Stone (Jan 26, 2019)
    Watching TV can save a life. When Cross Scott came across an unconscious woman, he immediately began giving her chest compressions to the rhythm of the Bee Gee’s classic Stayin’ Alive. Turns out, he learned the CPR technique from watching an old episode of The Office. The woman was revived, and now we all have a reason to watch more shows this weekend.
  3. doldrums
    a state of inactivity
    The rapper Future scored his sixth No. 1 album in less than four years, matching Elton John’s early 1970s chart run and bringing an apparent end to the music industry’s post-holidays sales doldrums.
    - The New York Times (Jan 28, 2019)
    Future’s record “Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd” climbed to number one on the Billboard chart. This means that all six of the albums he's released since 2015 have reached the top spot. The charts haven’t seen a streak like this since Elton John did it decades ago. So even though the music biz is in its usual winter doldrums, Future's career is anything but inactive.
  4. effervescent
    marked by high spirits or excitement
    She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent."
    - E! (Jan 30, 2019)
    Rachel Brosnahan, the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, will be the face of the new Kate Spade fashion brand, called "Frances Valentine." Ms. Spade, who committed suicide last year, launched the line before her death, naming it after her young daughter. Effervescent is a word that's been used to describe the bubbly personalities of both Spade and Brosnahan, who is the late designer's niece.
  5. ostensibly
    from appearances alone
    Ostensibly in response to the criticism, Maroon 5 also announced Tuesday that they, along with the NFL and their label, Interscope Records, would make a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America.
    - Rolling Stone (Jan 29, 2019)
    Maroon 5 and the other performers on this year's Super Bowl halftime show have cancelled the pre-game press conference. There was a lot of controversy this year about playing the show because of the music community's support of players who "took a knee," with many big-name acts passing on the gig. Rather than face countless questions about this issue, the performers will let their music do the talking.
  6. overzealous
    marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea
    . It didn’t help that the overzealous crowd, perhaps primed from years of “American Idol” and the like, chimed in to “woo” and cheer whenever an actor belted a long note — which, if you aren’t familiar with “Rent,” occurs a lot.
    - The New York Times (Jan 28, 2019)
    The televised musical Rent: Live aired on Fox this week, but it wasn't quite live. Actor Brennin Hunt, who was cast in one of the biggest parts in the production and who didn't have an understudy, badly injured his foot during the final rehearsals. As the old saying goes, "the show must go on." Fox broadcast a combination of pre-recorded bits from the dress rehearsal and live numbers with Hunt performing from his wheelchair. We're guessing no one will tell him to "break a leg" ever again.
  7. pantheon
    all the gods of a religion
    Joining the pantheon of Las Vegas residencies, Christina Aguilera revealed to Billboard that she will debut The Xperience inside Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood May 31.
    - Billboard (Jan 29, 2019)
    Cher, Lady Gaga, and Celine Dion might not be immortal, but they are certainly goddesses in the pantheon of pop music superstardom. Christina Aguilera is the latest singer to join this elite group of stars who have all headlined their own Las Vegas residencies.
  8. patronage
    the act of providing approval and support
    The Duchess of Sussex arrived to her first public outing to the National Theatre in London on Wednesday – three weeks after it was announced she had adopted it as one of her initial four royal patronages – in a very familiar pair of strappy heels.
    - People (Jan 30, 2019)
    The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is getting back to her acting roots. Sorta. The Duchess visited London's National Theater this week and watched a rehearsal of Shakespeare's Pericles. Markle plans to make the arts, and arts education, pillars of her charitable work.
  9. pinnacle
    the highest level or degree attainable
    In the Hot 100's history, Grande is the first artist whose first two No. 1s have both debuted at the pinnacle.
    - Billboard (Jan 28, 2019)
    Ariana Grande’s latest song “7 Rings” debuted at number one on the Billboard chart this week. This is Grande’s second song to start at the top of the charts. The first was her massive hit “Thank U, Next” which held on to number one for seven weeks. Grande's album Thank U, Next which comes out February 8th, is expected to top the charts as well.
  10. prestige
    a high standing achieved through success or influence
    We know that all awards shows are about the celebrities or the talent, but the SAG Awards are awarded by the actors themselves to their peers, so there's a whole different level of prestige when winning one of these trophies.
    - E! (Jan 27, 2019)
    The Screen Actors Guild Awards were held this week. These awards are a little different from other big awards shows because they only award acting. Black Panther won the honor for best "Cast in a Motion Picture". This is Us won for "Ensemble in a Television Drama" and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won for "Ensemble in a Television Comedy."

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