This Week in Words: Current Events Vocabulary for May 6–May 12, 2023

May 8, 2023
Stories about a long-lost artwork, a prizewinning dog, and a newly-crowned king all contributed words to this list of vocabulary from the week's news.
Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic will not be suspended after his courtside altercation with Suns owner Mat Ishbia on May 7. Jokic was chasing a loose ball into the courtside seats when the run-in occurred, during which he elbowed Ishbia in the chest and sent him flying back in his chair. NBA officials issued Jokic a $25,000 fine "for making improper contact with a spectator." Altercation is derived from the Latin altercationem, "dispute with another."
On May 9, a dog named Buddy Holly beat out more than 3,000 other canines to win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The six-year-old petit basset griffon Vendéen was the first of his breed ever to take the top prize in the canine competition, and judges said Buddy impressed them with his poise and confidence. The Latin root of canine is canis, "dog."
Seventy years after his mother was crowned Queen of England, King Charles III officially became the country's monarch. The coronation, a ritual that has existed for generations, lasted for four hours and included the swearing of sacred oaths, public processions with scores of onlookers, and a solemn ritual in which the Archbishop of Canterbury placed the 360-year-old St. Edward's Crown on Charles's head. Coronation has a Latin root that means "crown."
President Biden and Republican leaders will meet again after initial talks on raising the debt limit were unproductive. The two sides must agree on the annual federal budget before the U.S. defaults on its debt. Without increasing the amount the government can borrow, a process that requires bipartisan support, the country will run out of the money it needs to fulfill its financial obligations. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this could happen as soon as June 1 without an agreement.
Recent news stories about Justice Clarence Thomas's failure to disclose extravagant gifts from a billionaire Republican donor have led to discussions about tightening ethics rules for the Supreme Court. One watchdog organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called for Thomas to resign for "creating the impression that access to and influence over Supreme Court justices is for sale.” The Greek root of ethics is ēthos, "moral character."
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the 23 musicians who will be added to its ranks in 2023. Among those who will be inducted in a November ceremony are Missy Elliot, Willie Nelson, George Michael, and Kate Bush. The organization stated that it chooses inductees who have "created music whose originality, impact, and influence has changed the course of rock & roll." Induct, which has a Latin root meaning "introduce," was originally used for initiating church officials.
Marine heat waves are threatening the livelihoods of a group of intrepid women seaweed divers in Tamil Nadu, India. About 5,000 women earn their livings gathering seaweed from the reefs near Pamban island, a traditional occupation that requires bravery and temerity. Their hands wrapped in cloth to protect them from razor-sharp rocks, the divers hold their breath up to three minutes as they work. Other risks include venomous reef fish, stinging jellyfish, and extreme dizziness.
Eight murals commissioned in 1928 for a restaurant in the Empire State Building were believed to have vanished years ago. Recently, the director of the Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts gallery in New York was surprised to find two of the original large Art Deco artworks by Winold Reiss in an online marketplace. Art buffs who thought the eight-foot-tall murals had been destroyed when the building was renovated in the 1960s are eager to see them when they go on display later this month.
Economists said this week that falling meat prices had caused Tyson Foods shares to plummet. On May 8, the company's stock plunged to $50.73 after news that beef and pork prices were down due to less consumer demand. Tyson has watched its share price drop 46 percent in the last year, a total loss of $12.164 billion in value. The word plummet comes from the Middle English plommet, "a ball of lead."
Ten years after losing her beloved cat Mr. Mojo, a South Carolina woman was reunited with him at the Charleston Animal Society this month. Animal control officers found the black-and-white cat and brought him to the shelter, where workers discovered a microchip identifying him as the missing feline. Mr. Mojo was found two miles away from the home from which he'd wandered a decade earlier. Reunite is from the Latin re-, "again," and unire, "join together."
Most colony-forming insects are led by an independent female, with no male partner. But scientists have recently learned that termites are unique: their queens can't rule without a king. Unlike ants and bees, which mate just once, these tiny wood-eating insects must mate repeatedly to maintain their colonies. The Modern Latin source of termite is termites, which has three syllables and comes from the Latin tarmes, "white ant."
A new study found that more than 100 commonly used products contain multiple toxic chemicals. The substances detected in some brands of household products including nail polish, shampoo, all-purpose cleaners, and laundry detergents have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems. Toxic is derived from the Greek toxikon pharmakon, "poison for use on arrows," and the root toxon, "archery bow."

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