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May 30, 2016
This week’s theme
Miscellaneous words

This week’s words
nitty-gritty
blag

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

If you can scam someone to the tune of $35,000 (see the article linked below) and still have them vote for you, you must have fed them something strong. The secret sauce that Donald Trump has brewed has two main ingredients: hate and fear.

Hate and fear are powerful emotions. They can trump everything. At least for a short time.

If you can convince people to fear or hate someone different -- a different religion, a different skin tone, a different nationality -- you can have them do anything. Even vote against their self-interest.

Consider this week’s A.Word.A.Day a form of public service message. This week we’ve picked miscellaneous words from articles that shine a light on Trump’s trumpery.

We’ll include links to complete articles. Whether you vote in the US presidential elections or not, these articles are required reading.

nitty-gritty

PRONUNCIATION:
(NIT-ee GRIT-ee)

MEANING:
noun: The essential, practical, or most important details.

ETYMOLOGY:
Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1940.

USAGE:
“Boyce Chait, 84, and his wife Evelyn, 80, live in New Jersey. They demanded but were refused a refund after their $34,995 mentorship [program offered by Trump ‘University’] proved, Boyce says, ‘to be worth nothing. When it came to the nitty-gritty, there was nothing there.’
Nonetheless, Boyce said he and his wife would still ‘vote for Trump over Hillary Clinton,’ because they are members of the Tea Party.”
Steven Brill; What the Legal Battle Over Trump University Reveals About Its Founder; Time (New York); Nov 5, 2015.
Also see this.

See more usage examples of nitty-gritty in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. -Hal Clement, science fiction author (30 May 1922-2003)

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