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Word Matters is a show for readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved their English class. Join Merriam-Webster editors as they challenge supposed grammar rules, reveal the surprising origins behind words, tackle common questions, and generally geek out about the beautiful nightmare that is language.
 
My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. My goal as a Torah educator is not merely to teach my students my OWN hashkafah. Rather, my goal is to equip them with the foundations, the methodological training, and the tools which will enable them to arrive at their OWN understanding of Judaism and cultivate their OWN relationship with Hashem and His Torah. This podcast is devoted to the shiurim I give which are geared specifically towards that end. As such, the range of topics covered here will be div ...
 
Blackthropology is a podcast/movement primarily focused on creating fun, intellectual and raw dialogue that encourages an examination of the issues, concerns and SUCCESSES within the Black community. The name clearly stems from the word “anthropology,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture.” Blackthropology is a spin on the study of anthropol ...
 
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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 16, 2021 is: jocund • \JAH-kund\ • adjective : marked by or suggestive of high spirits and lively mirthfulness Examples: "'Get drunk … on words!' proclaims this pub crawl/reading event: More than 80 writers will take over some 35 Capitol Hill and First Hill venues (mostly bars, as well as places like Ellio…
 
Finding the first time a word was ever used: seems pretty simple, right? All you have to do is read everything ever written, and then write down where you first saw it. And then hope that it wasn't used for years in speech before ever being written down (it pretty much always was). Then you get to do the same for every other word. Like we said, eas…
 
This is an "audiobook version" of a dvar Torah I wrote in July 2016 entitled: Parashas Chukas: Overlooking Sacrilegious Speech. Click here for a link to the written version, which is also available as a PDF. ---------- If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at …
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 15, 2021 is: fealty • \FEE-ul-tee\ • noun 1 a : the fidelity of a vassal or feudal tenant to his lord b : the obligation of such fidelity 2 : intense fidelity Examples: "Ordinary English soccer fans dispatched the Super League with a populist putsch even before it had scheduled its first game. Those fans w…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 14, 2021 is: deride • \dih-RYDE\ • verb 1 : to laugh at or insult contemptuously 2 : to subject to usually bitter or contemptuous ridicule or criticism : to express a lack of respect or approval of Examples: Although derided by classmates for his cocksure insistence that he would be a millionaire by the ag…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 13, 2021 is: titanic • \tye-TAN-ik\ • adjective : having great magnitude, force, or power : colossal Examples: "A supernova occurs when a massive star in the bright disk of the galaxy runs out of fuel at the end of its life. With no 'fire' in its belly to beat back gravity's inexorable pull, the star implo…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 12, 2021 is: virtuoso • \ver-choo-OH-soh\ • noun 1 : one who excels in the technique of an art; especially : a highly skilled musical performer (as on the violin) 2 : an experimenter or investigator especially in the arts and sciences : savant 3 : one skilled in or having a taste for the fine arts 4 : a pe…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 11, 2021 is: poignant • \POY-nyunt\ • adjective 1 a : painfully affecting the feelings : piercing b : deeply affecting : touching c : designed to make an impression : cutting 2 a : pleasurably stimulating b : being to the point : apt 3 : pungently pervasive Examples: "Across Texas and the U.S. this year, h…
 
I was talking with a former high school student of mine about the philosophically inclined education she received in Midreshet Shalhevet (a"h). Like any good student, she continued to learn and develop after high school, and to eventually begin to question and critique what she had been taught in an effort to forge her own path. She sent me an essa…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 10, 2021 is: majuscule • \MAJ-uh-skyool\ • noun : a large letter (such as a capital) Examples: "At least the random emphatic majuscules on blogs are uncommon enough to make a rhetorical impression, though perhaps one not quite worthy of Serious Journalism." — Katy Waldman, Slate, 25 Aug. 2016 "It is the na…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 9, 2021 is: enjoin • \in-JOIN\ • verb 1 : to direct or impose by authoritative order or with urgent admonition 2 a : forbid, prohibit b : to prohibit by a judicial order : put an injunction on Examples: "And yet, to satisfy this good old man, / I would bend under any heavy weight/ That he'll enjoin me to."…
 
Is a simple task "doable," or would you consider it "feasible"? Is it different to "buy" something than it is to "purchase" it? Is this description "readable" or merely "legible"? This week we're looking at what happens when English pulls words from different roots, but uses them in similar ways. Then, we find out how the 'jay' got into 'jaywalking…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 8, 2021 is: bumptious • \BUMP-shus\ • adjective : presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive : obtrusive Examples: "The brash, bumptious New Yorkers I'd encountered in college had assured me that everything in New York was 'the best.'" — Herbert Buchsbaum, The New York Times, 19 Jan. 2021 "…
 
This is an "audiobook version" of a dvar Torah I wrote in June 2017 entitled: Parashas Korach: What Happened to Korach? Click here for a link to the written version, which is also available as a PDF. And if you're a fan of these "audiobook versions" of my divrei Torah and blog posts, please let me know, since this will encourage me to record more. …
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 7, 2021 is: solipsism • \SOH-lip-sih-zum\ • noun : a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism Examples: "The solipsism born of social distancing and months of relative confinement leads me to see everyth…
 
This is an "audiobook version" of a dvar Torah I wrote in June 2018 entitled: Parashas Shelach: The Torah's View of Temptation. Click here for a link to the written version, which is also available as a PDF. And if you're a fan of these "audiobook versions" of my divrei Torah and blog posts, please let me know, since this will encourage me to recor…
 
Tonight (6/2/20 at YBT) we took up the question: What does the Torah mean by "toeivah" (abomination)? The impetus for taking up this topic was Mishlei 20:10, which referred to unjust weights and measures as a "toeivah," and which we spent a couple of days working on. I mentioned that I came up with a theory for the Torah's use of "toeivah" years ag…
 
Are we language professionals? Certainly. Does that mean we pronounce every word perfectly? Oh, not even close. Today we'll get into the words that we, the lexicographers, still struggle to say, as well as the joy of learning a word from reading it. Hosted by Emily Brewster, Neil Serven, Ammon Shea, and Peter Sokolowski. Produced in collaboration w…
 
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