Word of the Day: muckrake

26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

Word of the Day: muckrake

26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

Source: history.com

Muckrake (verb) MUCK-rayk

Definition

: to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business

Examples

Arn is an aggressive reporter, never afraid to ask difficult questions, hound evasive sources, or muckrake when things appear suspect.

“From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan’s Monthly in the 1960s and ’70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers …, Mr. [Warren] Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good.” — Kevin Fagan, The San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Aug. 2016

Did You Know?

The noun muckrake (literally, a rake for muck, i.e., manure) rose out of the dung heap and into the realm of literary metaphor in 1684. That’s when John Bunyan used it in Pilgrim’s Progress to represent man’s preoccupation with earthly things. “The Man with the Muckrake,” he wrote, “could look no way but downward.” In a 1906 speech, President Teddy Roosevelt recalled Bunyan’s words while railing against journalists he thought focused too much on exposing corruption in business and government. Roosevelt called them “the men with the muck-rakes” and implied that they needed to learn “when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward.” Investigative reporters weren’t insulted; they adopted the term muckraker as a badge of honor. And soon English speakers were using the verb muckrake for the practice of exposing misconduct.

Muckrackers

Source: unknown

My Take

Muckrake is a term that I rarely use but understand its meaning. At least I thought I did…till now. I learned that it is an actual tool or the act of raking up muck. Done that often enough and it makes sense. Growing up in the part of the country I did, I came to know it as a derogatory slang term for someone who digs up dirt on other people, just to be mean and hurt them. That’s not quite accurate.

What I didn’t know, was that, in a way, I was right. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term during the turn of the twentieth century. Fair enough. What I didn’t know was that he used it for political gains, to target his opponents by encouraging everyone to be a muckraker, on the premise that if his opponents short-givings were exposed, it would help advance his political career. Well, I can’t blame him for that.

Muckraking standards of journalism

Source: weebly.com/standards-of-journalism

However, I wonder what our country would be like if we left well enough alone. Up until after the Kennedy era, journalists respected the privacy of sitting officials, allowing them to have their flings, affairs and such, without shouting from the mountain tops their private affairs. Granted, if it involved their public life, then by all means, it was fair game. Private lives remained…private.

In today’s world, the private lives of anyone are fair game to be broadcast around the world, via social media, actual journalism or the pretend journalist outlets, such as the nightly news et.all. If you want to hide something, of if you have a skeleton in your closet, sooner or later, it’s going to come out.

To me, the only way that it won’t matter is if you already lead a life where you, one, don’t care who finds out your inner most secrets, and two, lead a life of an open book. There once was a time where I cared whether someone figured out my inner most secrets. Not anymore. Because one, I don’t care whether you like it or not, and two, ask me anything. I’ll tell you the truth. Just don’t ask me anything you really don’t want the answer. I will tell you and then refer you to number one.

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: vulpine

Fox in winter

Word of the Day: vulpine

Fox in winterVulpine (adjective) VUL-pine

Definition

1 : of, relating to, or resembling a fox

2 : foxy, crafty

Examples

“There is something Gatsby-esque about the whole story. [Bernie] Madoff is a clear proxy for Meyer Wolfsheim, the vulpine, self-satisfied criminal seducer.” — Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 12 Jan. 2009

“Flashing a vulpine grin, he’s not a typical hunk—but like Casanova, a maestro of stylish manners and clever entrapment, an incorrigible cad proud of his powers of improvisational manipulation.” — Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, 30 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In Walden (1854), Henry David Thoreau described foxes crying out “raggedly and demoniacally” as they hunted through the winter forest, and he wrote, “Sometimes one came near to my window, attracted by my light, barked a vulpine curse at me, and then retreated.” Thoreau’s was far from the first use of vulpine; English writers have been applying that adjective to the foxlike or crafty since at least the 15th century, and the Latin parent of our term, vulpinus (from the noun vulpes, meaning “fox”), was around long before that.

Diane Vulpine reclining

Source: flickr.com/photos/anelyu/
photograph by Andrea Vittori

My Take

I never knew that there was a word related to Fox. Vulpine resembles a fox or is someone or something that is foxy or crafty. I never knew. So, I did some digging on the term ‘Vulpine’ and found many relates.

There are no shortages of items, products, media outlets, people or things that use the word ‘Vulpine’ or it’s related word, ‘Fox’. Trimming the gauntlet of images, I picked a few that I hope you’ll like or just brings back memories.

20th Century Fox LogoFor me, it started with 20th Century Fox, a movie studio, now known as Fox Entertainment Group. Over the years, I’ve watched many a film that they produced. Then, of course, there are the FOX companies owned by Rubert Murdock that include CNN and Fox News. Crafty, eh?

 

Vulpine Studios

Source: vulpine-studios.com

I found an art studio by the name of Vulpine Studios. I browsed their site. They appear to focus on artwork representing humans as foxes. Or is that the other way around? I don’t know, but I liked it.

I also found several other artists who compositions focused on foxes, such as the piece I found called ‘Vulpine Love’ by Shivita.

Vulpine Love by Shivita

Source: shivita.deviantart.com

A very beautiful piece of work, if I do say so myself.

I also stumbled across several models who either use the word Vulpine or Fox in their name. Since I like tattoos on women and redheads, I focused on Diane Vulpine, Cervana Fox, and Rebecca Crow. All foxy babes to me.

Fox Magazine Cover

Source: unknown

Then, back in the day, I enjoyed reading Fox Magazine, an adult magazine big on pictures, light on articles. Yep, I read it for the pictures. So sue me.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: wane

Waning moon phases

Word of the Day: wane

Waning moon phases

Source: kissesandchaos.com

Wane (verb) WAYN

Definition

1 : to decrease in size, extent, or degree

2 : to fall gradually from power, prosperity, or influence

Synonyms

abate; atrophy; decrease; die down; die out; dim; dwindle; ebb; fade; peter out; shrink; slacken; subside; taper off; weaken; wither

Antonyms

brighten; develop; enhance; enlarge; expand; extend; grow; increase; rise; strengthen

Examples

“Last year, the station offered fans the chance to buy the CD online for the first time and also sold it in Target stores as usual. But unlike previous years, the limited-run compilation didn’t sell out immediately, suggesting its popularity may be waning.” — Ross Raihala, The Pioneer Press (TwinCities.com), 14 Oct. 2016

“And as public and political interest in space exploration waxed and waned over the following decades, the funding for the space program did too.” — Dianna Wray, The Houston Press, 26 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

“Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour / Draws on apace four happy days bring in / Another moon: But oh, methinks how slow / This old moon wanes!” So Theseus describes his eagerness for his wedding night in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As illustrated by Theseus’ words, wane is a word often called upon to describe the seeming decrease in size of the moon in the later phases of the lunar cycle. The traditional opposite of wane is wax, a once common but now infrequently used synonym of grow. Wane and wax have been partnered in reference to the moon since the Middle Ages.

My Take

I learned about the word ‘Wane’ when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I had joined the scouts, and I studied the phases of the moon. By then, I was already captivated by astronomical events, so this was an excellent introduction to something that fascinated me.

Waning Phases of the Moon

Source: jasondemakis.com

I came to understand that the act of becoming a full moon was called waxing while the period after the full moon was called waning. I will admit since I didn’t make astronomy my career choice, as an adult, I often confused the two terms. I hope with today’s word; I can finally keep them straight. Waxing is for growing, and Waning is for receding. Cool! Now that I got that straight, I can rest easy. I hope. 😉

Lumber Wane

Source: baltimorebrickbybrick.com

I also learned a different usage for the word. M-W calls it a verb but I found a noun form of the word. If you have worked with lumber, especially framing lumber, I guarantee you have seen this. Check out the picture because it would take a thousand words for me to describe what is easily seen in the image. I always wondered if there was a name for that. Now I know. The inverse of ‘wane’ in lumber is called ‘want’. I learned something new! Whoo hoo!

Penthouse June 1994 cover Taylor Wane

Source unknown

I also thought of other uses, such as the stock market when it’s on a downswing or waning market. How many things do you know that wane? An entertainer’s career could be waning in popularity. A political party could be waning in influence. It doesn’t matter who, I don’t spill names. There are so many ways to use it.

Wane Veluz

Source: masrapidoblog.wordpress.com

I found at least three people who use the word as part of their name. Taylor Wane is an adult model with huge fake boobs. Ugh! I hate basketball boobs. I also found an actress by the name of Niki Wane who appeared in the 1973 film ‘Bamboo House of Dolls’. I presume it’s an adult film, but I didn’t look into it. Then there is Wane Veluz who is a product advertising model.

In my opinion, wane is a versatile word, and I’m going to look for a way to use it more often. What do you think?

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a screen grab of a naked Niki Wane from the movie.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy

Word of the Day: thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy

Source: suggest-keywords.com

Thaumaturgy (noun) THAW-muh-ter-jee

Definition

: the performance of miracles; specifically : magic

Examples

“The place is still a favourite pilgrimage, but there seems to be some doubt as to which Saint John has chosen it as the scene of his posthumous thaumaturgy; for, according to a local guide-book, it is equally frequented on the feasts of the Baptist and of the Evangelist.” — Edith Wharton, Italian Backgrounds, 1905

“Indeed, so keen was the horror at the hysteria that had taken hold in Salem that the mere mention of the place was sufficient to cool any passions that looked in danger of spiraling into outmoded and dangerous thaumaturgy.” — Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 16 Dec. 2011

Did You Know?

The magic of thaumaturgy is miraculous. The word, from a Greek word meaning “miracle working,” is applicable to any performance of miracles, especially by incantation. It can also be used of things that merely seem miraculous and unexplainable, like the thaumaturgy of a motion picture’s illusions (aka “movie magic”), or the thaumaturgy at work in an athletic team’s “miracle” comeback. In addition to thaumaturgy, we also have thaumaturge and thaumaturgist, both of which mean “a performer of miracles” or “a magician,” and the adjective thaumaturgic, meaning “performing miracles” or “of, relating to, or dependent on thaumaturgy.”

Tremere by radiationboyy

Source: radiationboyy

My Take

I must admit, I don’t know much about Thaumaturgy. However, I do believe that it is possible to perform magic (or miracles). Not that I can do it, mind you. I just believe there are people all around the world who have abilities above and beyond what the rest of us can do. I’m not saying that they are supernatural, just different, unique. Somedays, I wish I had some of those abilities to make life just a bit more interesting.

I do read novels and stories on the subject, most notably, the ‘Thaumatology Books’ by Niall Teasdale. I read these three years ago, and I was spellbound (pun intended). I am a fast reader, and I read all eleven books in a span of just two months. What can I tell you, I was captivated by the stories. I then moved on the ‘Hollows Books’ by Kim Harrison, and I did the same thing to her books. That is, I read the entire series in just a couple of months. I both cases, I started following the authors, and as they published new works, I just had to read them. Right now, I’ve just started the ‘Witch Detectives’ books by Eve Paludan. In the course of just a couple of days, I finished book 1 and moved on to book two.

It’s taking me longer to read novels lately, as I am writing my own books, I am spending more time writing than I do reading. Frankly, it’s a good thing. If you’re interested in novels of this sort, please feel free to check these authors out. Their books are available on Amazon.com. I’ve provided the links to their author pages for your convenience.

Dark Thaumaturgy

Source: snakepit.wikidot.com

Back to thaumaturgy. while I believe in magic, I also believe that much that we might call magic is science that most of us just don’t understand. Using a cell phone to talk to someone on the other side of the world could be magic to one who has never seen or heard of a cell phone. Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry) predicted them back in 1966, and by the 1990’s, the first flip phones appeared. Magic then, science today.

When I search for imagery to go with this article, I knew I would find thousands. What I found annoying was that most of them are depictions of the dark arts. Who says they have to be dark? The books I referenced above described a world balancing the two. Just as I believe, there can’t be light without dark, a hero without a villain, there has to be good magic as well as bad.

What do you think?

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: soporific

Classroom sleeping

Word of the Day: soporific

Classroom sleeping

Source: flashcardmonkey.com

Soporific (adjective) sah-puh-RIFF-ik

Definition

1 a : causing or tending to cause sleep

b : tending to dull awareness or alertness

2 : of, relating to, or marked by sleepiness or lethargy

Examples

The soporific effects of the stuffy classroom and the lecturer’s droning voice left more than one student fighting to stay awake.

“The prose sparkles at every turn, but that’s not to say it’s without flaws. Some entire chapters … struck me as wholly soporific.” — Andrew Ervin, The Washington Post, 13 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

“It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific.’ I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a rabbit.” In The Tale of the Flopsy Bunniesby Beatrix Potter, the children of Benjamin Bunny were very nearly done in by Mr. McGregor because they ate soporific lettuces that put them into a deep sleep. Their near fate can help you recall the history of soporific. The term traces to the Latin noun sopor, which means “deep sleep.” (That root is related to somnus, the Latin word for sleep and the name of the Roman god of sleep.) French speakers used sopor as the basis of soporifique, which was probably the model for the English soporific.

Soporific

Source: flashcardmonkey.com

My Take

I hope that my posts, and especially, the ‘Word of the Day’ are not soporific. I do try to make this section interesting. What do you think? Am I succeeding or making you fall asleep or delete these without reading them?

Girl Sleeping during Exam

Source: schellesenglish07.blogspot.com

I got started on these because I was looking for a way to give my followers something they liked while dealing with a vendor who was having difficulty distributing my posts. There were extended periods in August and September where, despite my best efforts, the posts remained undistributed to my social sites and my email followers. I needed something quick and easy to publish during the days of trouble.

For the most part, those problems are resolved, except for my email distributions. I’ve figured out, and communicated to the vendor, that during periods of high activity on the vendor’s part, my posts are caught up in some sort of ‘race’ condition between their email servers.

Emily Browning - Sleeping Beauty 2011

Source: masuema6751

But I digress. Soporific is the topic. I quickly found suitable images, including the sexy bonus picture that I almost always include for those that share the posts via Twitter. If you want to see it, please share the post from my page and click any of the Twitter buttons displayed.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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