This Week in Words: May 4–10, 2019

May 9, 2019
We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, and discussed in the news this week. Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.
Uber and Lyft drivers from around the country went on strike this week, fighting for better pay and job security. Many riders chose not to use the ride-sharing apps during the strike to show their support for the drivers. Camaraderie is the spirit of togetherness and unity.
Today's #UberLyftStrike may be the most important industrial action in the US in my lifetime," writes Twitter user @glenweyl. "All participating drivers deserve our solidarity and camaraderie."
- USA Today (May 8, 2019)
President Trump is threatening to impose another round of tariffs on China. Trump’s supporters say the tariff announcement is a strategic move to get China to take the negotiations seriously. Critics of the President say that if he goes through with the tariffs, it would be harmful to the economy. Coffers is a place where money is stored.
China has just informed us that they (Vice-Premier) are now coming to the U.S. to make a deal. We’ll see, but I am very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers...great for U.S., not good for China!” he added.
- The New York Times (May 8, 2019)
Chick-fil-A is now the third biggest restaurant chain (measured by sales) in the country, behind only Starbucks and McDonald’s. The chain credits its success to slow but steady expansion and sticking with what it does best — chicken. To hamper is to negatively affect the growth of something.
Chick-fil-A’s growth also has hampered burger sales, consultants and industry executives say.
- The Wall Street Journal (May 8, 2019)
Niagara Falls’ famous — and old — “Maid of the Mist” tour boats will soon be replaced with modern, eco-friendly vessels. The electric, zero-emissions boats will be the first of their kind assembled in the United States. It will take only seven minutes to charge the new model’s battery to 80% capacity.
The new integrated vessels are currently under construction by Burger Boat Company in Wisconsin. In mid-May, the boats will be transported to Niagara Falls and lowered onto the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly.
- Good News Network (May 8, 2019)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their newborn son’s name this week. The child’s moniker is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The name took royal-watchers (not to mention people who placed bets on the name) by surprise, as it reportedly has little connection to the royal family tree.
The name was somewhat surprising, as British oddsmakers’ top picks for potential names included more traditional monikers, like Arthur, James, Philip and Albert.
- People (May 8, 2019)
Donald Trump, Jr. has been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify about his meeting with Russian operatives during the presidential campaign. Details in the Mueller report contradict earlier statements that the President’s son gave to the same lawmakers. This use of morass is metaphorical, and refers to the muck and mud of partisan politics.
But the subpoena of the younger Mr. Trump shows that the Intelligence Committee, which is under Mr. McConnell’s jurisdiction, is proceeding with its vigorous investigation that — for the most part — has not degenerated into a partisan morass like a parallel investigation by the House.
- The New York Times (May 8, 2019)
Another deadly school shooting occurred at a Colorado High School this week. It has been reported that the one student who was killed, a senior just days away from graduating, ran at the gunman as a diversion so that his classmates could escape. Police have two suspects in custody.
He said his son and two friends tried to tackle the gunman but one of the boys was shot in the chest. Other students tried to stanch the bleeding by putting pressure on his chest, Mr. Bialy said.
- The New York Times (May 8, 2019)
Attorney General William Barr recently agreed to turn over the full, unredacted Mueller report and all supporting evidence surrounding it to a Congressional committee led by Democrats, but when the time came to do so, the President asserted executive privilege and Barr did not provide the materials. Now, a panel in the House of Representatives has voted to charge Barr with contempt of Congress, which is a crime.
But Democrats say that is not good enough, and they have accused the attorney general of stonewalling a legitimate request for material they need to carry out an investigation into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by Mr. Trump.
- The New York Times (May 8, 2019)
Iran has pulled out of the nuclear deal that it entered with several other countries during the Obama administration. Under the Trump presidency, the United States withdrew from the treaty last year. The agreement placed stringent limits on Iran’s nuclear energy production. Experts fear that this move could escalate in tension with Iran and lead to military action.
The move comes a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal, over the stringent objections of other signatories.
- CNN (May 8, 2019)
After any natural disaster, it is common for local and federal governments to be criticized for responding slowly and ineffectively. The opposite happened recently in India. When a massive cyclone was headed toward a heavily populated area, officials evacuated more than one million people. There were only three fatalities in the entire region as a result of the state’s preparedness.
Though tropical storms are generally associated with devastating death tolls, the state’s emergency responders are being praised for the unprecedented speed of their response.
- Good News Network (May 7, 2019)

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