WORD LISTS

This Week in Words: June 1–7, 2019

June 7, 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.
austere
The Trump administration announced it will cancel English classes, soccer games, and legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children who are being held in U.S. shelters. The administration says it needs the money to secure the southern border so the immigration crisis does not continue. These services and programs were provided to make the children’s surroundings less austere and prison-like, and more appropriate for the needs of kids and teens.
Federal law requires the Department of Homeland Security to move unaccompanied minors from austere border jails to more child-appropriate shelters, and they must do so swiftly.
- The Washington Post (June 5, 2019)
barrage
Twelve people were killed in a barrage of bullets when a gunman opened fire in a municipal center in Virginia Beach, Virginia last week. The gunman was a civil engineer employed at the civil service center where the shooting took place. The gunman was killed during a confrontation with police.
And on Friday, their lives ended with a man’s barrage of bullets in a three-floor rampage that once again pushed the nation’s death toll from mass shootings higher.
- The New York Times (June 1, 2019)
culminate
A 21-year-old American woman is vying for the Guinness Book of World Records title for the youngest person to visit all the recognized countries in the world. Lexie Alford has visited 196 countries, and she even stepped foot in North Korea, which is generally off-limits to outsiders. The Guinness organization needs some time to verify Lexie’s claims, but she may soon displace the current record holder, a 28-year-old man.
"It’s crazy to have years of hard work culminate into one single moment. I’m so grateful to everyone that’s helped me get here. The greatest chapter of my life is coming to a close. Cheers to a new beginning"
- USA Today (June 5, 2019)
hawkish
In an interview, President Trump said that he would much rather settle the United States’ differences with Iran through diplomacy rather than military action. The President also provided insight into the views of his advisors. Some want to avoid a military conflict, and others are more hawkish. President Trump’s embrace of statesmanship is a departure from the rhetoric of just last week, when he made statements that came across to many as threats of military force.
Mr. Trump has told his Pentagon chiefs that he does not want war with Iran, but he has also undercut his national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who has been more hawkish.
- The New York Times (June 5, 2019)
levy
As a way of punishing the Mexican government for not stemming the tide of migrants to the U.S., the President may impose a 5% tax, or levy, on Mexican goods. Vice President Pence is meeting with top Mexican leaders to try to prevent the imposition of these tariffs and reach a resolution to the ongoing situation. Trump has threatened to raise these tariffs to as high as 25% if Mexico does not clamp down on the flow of people who travel through its territory to enter the U.S.
Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who has advocated using levies to punish Mexico, said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that Mr. Trump’s threat had gotten the Mexican government’s attention and that the United States might not have to impose the tariffs.
- The New York Times (June 5, 2019)
margin
The 2020 Presidential election is still more than a year away, but political pundits are already obsessing over poll results. One early poll showed that in the crucial state of Michigan, voters gave both Democratic front-runners Senator Bernie Sanders and Vice-President Joe Biden a 12-point lead in a head-to-head race with the President. Of course, Biden and Sanders first have to battle it out for the Democratic nomination before they get to face President Trump in the general election.
Biden, the former vice president, and Sanders, a senator from Vermont, led Trump by identical margins — 53 percent to 41 percent — among likely voters in the poll conducted for the Detroit News and the Detroit television station WDIV-TV.
- The Washington Post (June 5, 2019)
poignant
This week marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, when American-led Allied forces stormed the beach in Normandy, France to liberate that country from Nazi forces. Both President Trump and French President Macron gave speeches at the historic site to commemorate the momentous occasion. They honored those who died in the battle and paid tribute to surviving D-Day veterans, who are now in their nineties. Something poignant causes you to experience feelings of tenderness.
Last D-Day Veterans Make Poignant Return to Normandy.
- The Wall Street Journal (June 6, 2019)
sojourn
The Trump administration is signaling to Cuba that it’s not happy with that country’s support of the brutal Venezuelan government by setting new travel restrictions that will severely limit the amount of American money flowing into the Cuban economy. Cruise ships from the United States will no longer be allowed to visit the island nation, which means that an estimated 800,000 tourists will not be visiting Cuba this year. A sojourn is the time you spend on a trip away from home.
Cruise ships as well as recreational and pleasure vessels are prohibited from departing the U.S. on temporary sojourn to Cuba effective (Wednesday),” the Commerce Department said in a statement to The Associated Press.
- USA Today (June 4, 2019)
turbine
The world’s largest wind farm has begun operations off the coast of England. At this early stage with only some of the turbines working, the system will provide enough electricity to power 287,000 homes. When fully operational, the wind farm will power about a million more homes. Wind power is considered a clean energy source because it does not depend on fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas, which damage the environment when they are extracted, refined, and used.
The huge scale of the project means that operations are beginning before construction is complete. As of right now, only 50 of the 174 turbines are operational, and turbine installation is expected to continue until the end of summer.
- Good News Network (June 4, 2019)
uncanny
You know those internet ads that seem to know exactly what you do online and even what you’re just thinking you might want to buy? The new edition of the web browser Firefox is going to automatically block the technology which creates those ads. Something uncanny is eerie or bizarre in an unsettling way.
Ad networks use the resulting data about your reading habits to build sophisticated models of your interests that can seem uncanny or just creepy.
- USA Today (June 4, 2019)

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