Thursday, June 30, 2016

“Etonian Panache”; “They’re the Dog that Caught the Car”; “Mr. Elastic”; “Enjoying the Warm Embrace of Schadenfreude”… the Brexit Shock Triggers a Stream of Stirring Expression

An expert on international affairs has described last Thursday’s Brexit referendum as “the biggest single shock to the European political system since the fall of The Berlin Wall.” Other leading analysts have echoed that sentiment. Not surprisingly, Brexit was a dominant issue this past week on “Charlie Rose,” NPR, the television talk shows last Sunday morning, and other current affairs programs. And the often animated and vigorous discussion generated an outpouring of fresh, evocative, turns of phrase. Among them: 

  • When asked whether Boris Johnson (former Mayor of London and a leader of the “Leave” campaign) will be able to lead the Tories, Lionel Barber of the Financial Times saying on “Charlie Rose”: “Yes, the one adjective that sums him up best is ‘elastic.’ He’ll do what he thinks is in his interest, even if it means saying something one day and another the next day…. He’s the one person who can drop and abandon all of his past positions with the most Etonian panache! [The above edition of “Charlie Rose” aired three days before Johnson took himself out of the running for prime minister.]
  • While describing yesterday’s scene in the European Parliament, when the UKIP leader Nigel Farage (who, too, is deeply anti-EU and campaigned fiercely for “Leave”) in a speech taunted his audience which, still in a state of disbelief, stared at Farage with disgust and loathing, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg quipping: “Farage is delighted at Brussels’s agony…he wants to enjoy the warm embrace of schadenfreude.” [For an insight into the word schadenfreude, which wasfeatured in my “Words of the Month” in 2011, click here.]  

  • Referring to the leaders of the “Leave” campaign who, within hours of the vote, were beginning to backtrack from their criminally misleading sloganeering that had played on people’s fears, David Rennie of the Economist saying on “Face the Nation”: “(The pro-Brexiters) have kind of gone into hiding. They don’t know what to do with their win (because they don’t have a plan). They are the kind of dog that caught the car.” Appearing on the same show, Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics commenting:The U.K. is going down the rabbit hole” (because it’s now in unknown territory)." 

© Copyright 2016  V. J. Singal

Monday, June 20, 2016

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

Have you checked out the latest edition (May/June 2016) of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, which has been online since last month? Here are the six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The Articulate Professional-3rd Edition”):

1. infelicitous
2. braggadocio
3. insular
4. superlative
5. imbroglio
6. perfidious