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Dec 15, 2015
This week’s theme
Food as metaphor

This week’s words
bouillabaisse
cherry-pick
rechauffe
saccharine
farrago

Cherry picking
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cherry-pick

PRONUNCIATION:
(CHER-ee-pik)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To pick in a highly selective manner. Example, to cherry-pick data to suit a hypothesis.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the idea of picking the best cherries from a tree. Earliest documented use: 1966.

USAGE:
“Inevitably, there will be factions that cherry-pick findings from our study to bolster their agendas.”
Michael Casserly; A Cap on the Amount of Testing Time is the Wrong Answer for Schools; The Washington Post; Oct 30, 2015.

NOTES:
Agenda (a list of things under consideration) is a plural of Latin agendum, but it’s now fairly well established as a singular. So the plural agendas in today’s example sentence is perfectly fine. If it bothers you, perhaps you’d like to use today’s term as cherise-pick, instead of cherry-pick. The word cherry is from Middle English cherise/cheris, which was mistaken for a plural and a singular cheri made from it. In French, a cherry is still une cerise.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

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