From the Copy Desk

In case you need a dictionary with the Oct. 22 issue of CityBeat

Good late morning, readers. Roughly 13 more work hours until the weekend... we got this. I think.

This week's issue was filled with Words Nobody Uses or Knows, most of which were found in our cover story, Lost in Wilberforce, a piece about how the country's oldest historically black college is dying a slow, sad and dysfunctional death. Nobody is sure if it can be saved. Not what I would call a light read, but wonderfully written and important nonetheless.

Best word of the issue, found in that cover story, is promulgated.

promulgated: to publish or make known officially (a decree, church dogma, etc.); to make widespread, i.e. to promulgate learning and culture (v.)

In this issue: "

Dr. Algaenia Warren Freeman, a veteran HBCU administrator, has taken the reins from interim president Wilma Mishoe and is painted by the board — and the university’s PR firm Trevelino-Keller — as emblematic of the 'force of change' promulgated in the university slogan."

Next best word is fealty (also found in the cover story).

fealty: the duty and loyalty owed by a vassal or tenant to his feudal lord; an oath of such loyalty (n.)

In this issue: "Jarred, a Pittsburgh native, pledges fealty only to the University of North Carolina." I enjoy the comparison of the university to a feudal lord here.

And then there's salvos, a great sounding word that has two completely different meanings and is Italian.

salvos: the release of a load of bombs or the launching of several rockets at the same time; a burst of cheers or applause (n.)  I find it amusing that this word can mean something deadly and delightful simultaneously.

In this issue: "'Your cerebral cortex cannot comprehend the complexity of my complex bars,' says Jarred, with the kind of theatrical cadence and gesturing that makes me think these might be introductory salvos in an impromptu face-off right here. 'You can’t fuck with me.' "   OK. Does anybody understand the use of that word in the above sentence? Because I've read it three times and I'm still not getting it.

Another terrific sounding word in this issue is coquettish, which for whatever reason reminded me of Cosette in Les Miserables. Or croquet? Coquettish Cosette played croquet. I don't know. It's in Rick Pender's review of An Iliad at Ensemble Theater, which, by the way, is an astounding production. Really. I see a lot of theater, sometimes multiple shows a week, because my husband works in theater, and let me tell you, this was by far one of the best productions I've seen in the city since I've moved here, like, two months ago. But I digress.

Coquettish: As a young, flirting girl. (adj.)

In this issue: "He is called upon to recreate a dozen or so characters from Homer’s sweeping epic — the professional warrior (and demigod) Achilles; the brave Trojan Prince Hector; Achilles’ protégé Patroclus; pretty boy Paris who lit the fuse on the war by stealing another man’s wife; the arrogant Greek King Agamemnon and his aged, disconsolate counterpart from Troy, King Priam; even several women, from the coquettish Helen and Hector’s steadfast wife Andromache; and a god or two, especially and humorously the fleet-footed Hermes, 'a young man with fabulous sandals.' "

Last word in today's vocab lesson is prescience, found in this week's Big Picture column, which is about the late George S. Rosenthal, a Cincinnati photographer who took photos of the city's West End neighborhood before it was destroyed by the construction of I-75 in the 1950s. 

prescience: apparent knowledge of things before they happen or come into being; foreknowledge (n.)

In this issue: "

I mean them no disrespect to focus this story on Rosenthal, but his work fascinates me for his prescience.


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