This Week in Pop Culture: July 27–August 2, 2019

We've scoured this week's entertainment news and rounded up our favorite vocab words from the stories that everyone's buzzing about.
definitions & notes only words
  1. altercation
    a noisy quarrel
    Earlier this month, A$AP Rocky released video footage of the altercation on his Instagram account, which he said proved that he was acting in self-defense.
    - Variety (July 30, 2019)
    A$AP Rocky pled not guilty to assault charges he’s facing in Sweden. The rapper claims that he acted in self-defense when he hit someone on the street. Post Malone, Shawn Mendes and Jada Pinkett Smith are among the celebrities who have voiced support for Rocky, who faces two years in prison if convicted. An altercation is a physical fight.
  2. candid
    openly straightforward and direct without secretiveness
    The Duchess of Sussex has guest-edited the 2019 September issue of British Vogue, titled “Forces for Change,” featuring a candid conversation between the mother of one and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
    - People (July 28, 2019)
    Meghan Markle has edited the September issue of British Vogue, which will be on newsstands at the beginning of August. Markle does not appear on the cover of the magazine, which instead features portraits of diverse women whom the Duchess finds inspirational. Reportedly, Markle wanted to capture the natural looks of the women, saying that she “wanted to see freckles.”
  3. eerie
    suggestive of the supernatural; mysterious
    Defense attorney Christine Lepera told jurors that the eerie, electronic beat could not be protected by copyright because it was merely a "common building block'' of music.
    - NBC Los Angeles (July 29, 2019)
    A jury in Los Angeles has decided that Katy Perry and her collaborators copied part of the beat in the song “Dark Horse” from a song by Christian rap artist Flame. Perry’s attorneys had argued that the beat was too commonplace to be copyrighted, but jurors disagreed. The jury will now decide how much money Flame is entitled to. Eerie means strange or unusual in a spooky way.
  4. gist
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    “They tell me, ‘You always fall asleep in the movies, Ma,’” Bassett said with a laugh. “Then I wake up and I got, like, the general gist of what happened. And the bad guys went down and the good guys solved it and it’s all good, right? Okay!”
    - Entertainment Weekly ( July 30, 2019)
    Avengers: Endgame has made almost three billion dollars at the global box office, meaning that nearly everyone on earth who goes to the movies has seen that movie. Actress Angela Bassett is in the film but she still hasn’t seen it. In an interview, Bassett admitted that she has a tendency to fall asleep in the movie theater and is concerned about the three hour running time. The gist is the general idea of something.
  5. meticulous
    marked by precise accordance with details
    Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, lauded Taylor as a meticulous professional and as fun-loving as the characters she voiced.
    - USA Today (July 28, 2019)
    Russi Taylor, who was the voice of Minnie Mouse for decades, died this week at the age of 75. She was once married to the man who was the voice of Mickey Mouse. Taylor also supplied the voices for some characters on The Simpsons, notably school smarty Martin Prince. Meticulous describes someone who is very careful and orderly in the way they do things.
  6. nostalgia
    a longing for something past
    The nostalgia packed space will offer fans the opportunity to explore the show and capture photos with set re-creations, props, and costumes from the series (and yes, a re-created Central Perk will be involved).
    - Entertainment Weekly (July 29, 2019)
    The classic TV sitcom Friends debuted 25 years ago. In New York City, where the show was set, an exhibition space will soon open where fans can explore a replica of the show’s set. They will be able to play on Chandler and Joey’s foosball table, explore Monica and Rachel’s apartment, and have a drink at Central Perk, the coffee shop where the gang always used to hang out.
  7. poised
    marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
    The Lion King is still reigning at the multiplex, but Quentin Tarantino is poised for a personal best.
    - Entertainment Weekly (July 28, 2019)
    Once Upon A Time in Hollywood made $40 million dollars at the box office this week, making it director Quentin Tarantino’s best opening of his career. The tale about life in California in 1969 couldn’t compete with The Lion King though, which was the number one earner for the second week in a row. In this case poised means well-positioned and ready for something to happen.
  8. polymath
    a person of great and varied learning
    Dora the Explorer was seven years old when audiences met her on television, a sing-songy polymath who traveled the map seeking answers and solving puzzles, accompanied by a big-mouthed backpack and equally loquacious monkey, Boots.
    - Variety (July 28, 2019)
    Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the live-action movie featuring a teenage Dora the Explorer, premieres this week. It features Dora and all her friends, including Boots and Backpack, and introduces us to Dora’s parents who are adventurers themselves. A polymath is someone with a lot of different interests, usually of an academic nature. Loquacious means very talkative.
  9. scrimmage
    practice play between two teams
    He'll then connect with his friends to discuss strategy before joining professional scrimmages and competing against the top players in the world. He estimates that all takes about six or seven hours a day.
    - USA Today (July 29, 2019)
    A sixteen-year-old from Pennsylvania won $3 million at the first Fortnite World Cup. Kyle Giersdorf had his parents’ permission to play the video game for six to seven hours each day to train for the event, which was held in New York City. Kyle has said he will save most of his winnings, but that he does want a new desk.
  10. stratosphere
    atmospheric layer between the troposphere and the mesosphere
    The addition of the Cyrus remix to the song's overall metrics sends it into the stratosphere, with the two versions of the song combining to rack up an unprecedented 143 million streams in its first full week of tracking, easily beating Drake's previous record of 116 million for "In My Feelings" at its peak the year before.
    - Billboard (July 29, 2019)
    Lil Nas X just made Billboard chart history. His song “Old Town Road” has been number one for seventeen straight weeks, besting the previous record held by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito” (Remix)” which featured Justin Bieber. In this case, stratosphere is being used metaphorically to suggest just how high the song has soared and how much success it has had.

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