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Jul 20, 2011
This week's theme
Words of French origin

This week's words
nouveau riche
voulu
mise en scene
pur sang
coup de main

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

mise en scene

PRONUNCIATION:
(mee-zan* SEN)
[* the second syllable is nasal]

MEANING:
noun:
1. The setting of a scene in a play, movie, etc.
2. The setting or background of an event.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French mise en scène, literally "put on stage". Earliest documented use: 1833.

NOTES:
Scenery, costumes, lighting, props, placement of actors, everything that appears in a scene falls under the umbrella term mise en scene. Since a director is ultimately in charge of all this, he is referred to as a metteur en scene, literally, putter of a scene.

USAGE:
"Forces inimical to democracy may be involved in fanning the flames of violence, setting the mise en scene for the military to step in once again."
Tariq Karim; Benazir's Assassination; The Daily Star (Dhaka, Bangladesh); Jul 30, 2007.

See more usage examples of mise en scene in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. -Stewart I. Udall, politician (1920-2010)

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