July 27, 2018

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

—Thomas Jefferson

A Week in Words features a weekly recap of current affairs around the world, with an educational spin. We’ll be featuring 5 lesser-used words to boost your vocabulary, each one pertinent to a highlighted headline of the week.

So in case you didn’t learn anything from reading about the anfractuous (Hey, here’s a sixth word! Just for fun.) dealings of current-POTUS Trump, or Kylie Jenner topping 2018’s Instagram Rich List, then at least take our word(s) for it.

1. Michael Cohen claims Trump ‘knew of Russian lawyer meeting’

In the latest addition to the Trump-Cohen saga, Trump’s former lawyer now asserts that Mr Trump was aware in advance, of a June 2016 meeting between his aides and a Russian delegation.

Our Word on the Story: Vagarious (adj.), meaning erratic and unpredictable in behaviour or direction.

Example Sentence: Having the vagarious Mr Trump in office meant never having a boring news day.

2. Facebook share price sinks as China plans hit great wall

Facebook’s market value fell by more than USD 119 billion, or over 20%, after the company reported a slowing of user growth. The social media giant’s cause was not helped by widespread reports that its licence to operate in China (announced Wednesday), had been withdrawn.

The Week UK reported that “Facebook has invested a lot of time, money and effort trying to tap in to China’s billion users. Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has jogged around Tiananmen Square, reportedly read President’s Xi Jinping’s collected speeches and even learned Mandarin.”

Our Word on the Story: Operose (adj.), meaning involving or displaying much industry or effort.

Example Sentence: Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s most operose efforts, Facebook’s endeavour to gain entry to the Chinese market appears to have come to no avail.

3. Remains of 55 U.S. War Dead in North Korea Start Journey Home After 65 Years

The remains of 55 American servicemen who lost their lives in the Korean War have been returned to the United States by North Korea.

Our Word on the Story: Exequy (n) (plural: exequies) meaning funeral rites.

Example Sentence: Hopefully, proper exequies can be held for the remains of the 55 US servicemen when they are finally returned home, 65 years after the end of combat.

4. Najib won’t confirm or deny letter by Malaysian intelligence unit asking for CIA support

Former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak has declined to confirm or deny the existence of a letter written by a Malaysian intelligence unit (then under his watch), asking the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to support his Barisan Nasional coalition, 5 days before the May 9 general election—an act tantamount to treason.

Our Word on the Story: Perfidious (adj.) meaning deceitful and untrustworthy.

Example Sentence: Continued revelations add to mounting evidence of perfidious dealings by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, during his time in office.

5. Look up tonight to catch Mars and ‘blood moon’ double bill

The longest “blood moon” eclipse of the century will occur in the early hours of Saturday (July 28), also coinciding with planet Mars’ closest approach to Earth in 15 years.

Our Word on the Story: Erubescent (adj.) reddening; blushing.

Example Sentence: The celestial phenomenon of an erubescent moon is due to a total lunar eclipse.