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May 18, 2011
This week's theme
Words derived from circus

This week's words
three-ring circus
desultory
dog-and-pony show
hey rube
jumbo

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

dog-and-pony show

PRONUNCIATION:
(dog and POH-nee shoh)

MEANING:
noun: An elaborately staged presentation or briefing arranged for public relations, selling, etc. Also, a presentation that is overly contrived.

ETYMOLOGY:
After small traveling circuses that featured tricks involving dogs and ponies. Earliest documented use: 1885.

USAGE:
"Rather than be honest about the tragic missteps of the past and confront the lingering issues over detainee treatment, the Pentagon puts on a preposterous dog-and-pony show when reporters come calling."
Pentagon's Offensive Guantanamo Show; St. Petersburg Times (Florida); Jul 7, 2009.

"Cebu Pacific, the Philippines-based airline, has turned their safety announcement into a true dog-and-pony show. Their flight attendants dance to the music of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry while pointing out and demonstrating safety equipment. It's even choreographed." (video)
Gail Todd; Some Airlines Employ Humor With Safety Announcements; Chicago Daily Herald (Illinois); Apr 3, 2011.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization. -Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

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