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Jun 3, 2021
This week’s theme
Gold

This week’s words
Fort Knox
hallmark
midas
golden parachute
pyrite

golden parachute
Iceland sentenced nine crooked bankers to 46 years in jail.
Meanwhile in America: Wells Fargo CEO got a $134 million golden parachute for ripping off thousands of customers.
Image: me.me

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

golden parachute

PRONUNCIATION:
(GOL-den par-uh-shoot)

MEANING:
noun: An agreement to pay generous compensation to a company executive if dismissed.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the idea of a parachute softening the blow of an ejection from a high office and the color golden alluding to the large payment received on dismissal. Earliest documented use: 1981.

JOKE:
A hedge-fund CEO negotiated the best compensation package he could. A private jumbo jet, a yacht, and so on. Also, a huge payout if he were to leave the company for any reason. Once he was flying on a trip when the pilot announced, “Folks, both engines have failed. We are going down. Please pray.”
The man asked his assistant to look for his parachute in his carry-on. “Good luck,” she said as she handed him his golden parachute.

USAGE:
“His faux optimism only made Brooke wonder how big a golden parachute the new owners must have opened for him. He was no doubt making a soft landing into a pile of several million dollars.”
Talia Carner; Hotel Moscow; William Morrow; 2015.

“The documentary spends a lot of time on Adam Neumann, who ended up with a $1.7 billion golden parachute. Through various interviews with reporters, customers, and employees, the documentary tries to characterize the man. But my favorite characterization comes from Neumann himself. A montage of clips from public interviews shows Neumann repeatedly telling the same story about what his wife Rebekah once told him: ‘You have a lot of potential, but you’re full of shit.’”
Danielle Abril; WeWork’s Distorted Reality; Fortune; Apr 8, 2021.

See more usage examples of golden parachute in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
'Writing' is the Latin of our times. The modern language of the people is video and sound. -Lawrence Lessig, professor and political activist (b. 3 Jun 1961)

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