WORD LISTS

This Week In Culture: March 29–April 4, 2020

April 1, 2020
Recommendations for video games, a new Bob Dylan song, and stories about the past and future of sports all contributed timely vocabulary to this week's list of words from the culture beat.
copious
Taylor Swift is covering three months of salary and healthcare expenses for a Nashville record store. Grimey's New & Preloved Music, named one of the ten best record stores in America in 2018, had just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Like many other such businesses, it had recently closed due to the pandemic. Copiosus is Latin for "plentiful."
In the weeks since the CDC updated its guidelines for the coronavirus — recommending social distancing and copious hand washing — record stores across the country have radically adopted their modus operandi.
Rolling Stone (Apr 1, 2020)
dynasty
ESPN has pushed up the release of its ten-hour Michael Jordan documentary, titled The Last Dance, to April 19. The network will show two episodes a week for five Sundays. The series chronicles Jordan's last season in the NBA, in 1997-98, which culminated in a victory over the Utah Jazz for the championship. Dynasteia is a Greek word meaning "power," "domination," or "lordship."
"This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”
Washington Times (Mar 31, 2020)
elegiac
For those of you keeping score at home, which is all of you, screens have officially won the battle over how much screen time is okay. In that spirit, this list of enormous, open-world, time-intensive video games might be just the ticket for whiling away your social distancing time. Elegeia is a Greek word, referring to a literary poem of lamentation for someone who passed.
Travel the galaxy upgrading your ship and wandering undiscovered planets while following an elegiac narrative to the centre of the universe.
Guardian (Mar 30, 2020)
inevitable
Wimbledon, the Grand Slam tennis tournament held in London every summer, has been cancelled for the first time since World War II. Prior to that, the only other time it was cancelled was during World War I. Because of the packed schedule for international tennis tournaments, it's unclear if the competition can be postponed until later this year or whether it may need to be scrapped altogether.
Officials on Wednesday made the difficult but increasingly inevitable decision to cancel Wimbledon amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, calling the tournament off for the first time in decades.
Washington Post (Apr 1, 2020)
juxtapose
Bob Dylan released his first new song in eight years. Titled Murder Most Foul, it deals with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It also includes a long list of name-checks and references to other songs. And at 17 minutes long, you only need to listen to it about 60 times to get through another day under stay-at-home orders! If that's not enough, all the other songs Dylan mentions add up to a four-hour playlist.
By invoking and juxtaposing these historical points of interest, Dylan paints a picture of a decade that stumbled out of the gate but gained footing in an outpouring of art and hope.
New York (Mar 31, 2020)
limbo
Idris Elba announced that two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, he and his wife are fine. The couple are in quarantine in New Mexico, where Elba was shooting a film. In his Instagram video, Elba praised healthcare workers for their efforts, and also Tom Hanks for announcing his own test results right away in an effort to help people stay calm about the pandemic. limbo is Latin for "border" or "edge," as in the rim of a volcano's crater or the lip of a bowl.
"We’ve passed the quarantine period but we’re a little bit stuck in limbo. We can’t get a flight back home," he said.
USA Today (Apr 1, 2020)
opportunistic
The NFL is optimistic about the coming season, saying that it plans to start on time and proceed normally. But observers say that it's too early to make such a declaration, with so many unknowns about the scope and duration of the pandemic. An opportunist is someone who takes advantage of every opportunity: every possible chance to improve their standing, position, or financial situation.
The idea matches up perfectly with the decision to go forward with the new league year, which was, at the very least, an opportunistic move to pull in a captive audience, and the forceful nature with which they’re pushing ahead with the draft, which is, well, the same.
Sports Illustrated (Apr 1, 2020)
respite
David Hockney, one of the most famous living painters, shared a portfolio of his recent iPad drawings for people to enjoy. Working from his new country home in Normandy, France, the 83-year-old continues to work every day and is enjoying the beginning of spring. The nine drawings and one animation are all pictures of his home, garden, and the surrounding landscape, featuring lots of flowers and budding trees.
"I went on drawing the winter trees that eventually burst into blossom. This is the stage we are right now. Meanwhile the virus is going mad, and many people said my drawings were a great respite from what was going on."
BBC (Apr 1, 2020)
sequester
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is another video game well-suited to this period of prolonged homestay. Relaxed, charming, and immersive, it offers a welcome escape from too much bad news and too many hours in each day. Sequester is a Latin verb meaning "to set aside" or "to separate."
I live alone, and I’ve been sequestered in my apartment for almost three weeks.
New York Times (Mar 31, 2020)
titular
After six seasons, Schitt's Creek will air its series finale on April 7. The show became hugely popular, with fans creating lots of memes using the characters. Daniel Levy, who co-created the show with his father Eugene, recently signed a three-year deal with ABC. Titulus is Latin for "title," which can be used with both meanings of that word: a position, like ambassador, or the title of an art work.
In the 2015 premiere of “Schitt’s Creek,” a riches-to-rags comedy, the Rose family arrive in the tiny titular town wearing the designer clothes of their past life as protective gear.
Variety (Apr 1, 2020)

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