Vocablet of the Day: Selfie

It’s Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013, and if you have a smartphone or a computer with a webcam, it’s probably something you’re familiar with.

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Sometimes you need a picture of yourself — for a social media profile, to document a new hairstyle, or just because you want one — and the easiest way to make that happen is with a photograph that one has taken of oneself, usually with a smartphone or webcam.

Selfies are all the rage these days, with everyone from celebrities to politicians snapping quick pics of themselves and posting them online.  Some say that selfies are further evidence of the increasing narcissism of society brought on by social media websites like Facebook and Instagram, while others argue that people have created self-portraits for centuries, and the selfie is just a new version of that.

Do you take selfies and post them online?  What do you think of the whole selfie phenomenon?

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Vocablet of the Day: Inevitable

How far would you go to face your fears?  Would you climb into a coffin?

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Even though death is incapable of being avoided or prevented, most of us would prefer not to think about it.  Some, however, take the opposite approach.

In psychological terms, it’s called immersion therapy: throw yourself into whatever scares you.  If you’re afraid of spiders, let three of them crawl over your hands.  If you’re afraid of flying, book a ticket across the Atlantic.  And if you fear the inevitable approach of death, climb into a coffin.

Does the idea of getting into a coffin freak you out?  Or do you think it might make you feel more comfortable with the fact that your own death is inevitable?

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Vocablet of the Day: Estranged

Making amends with family members is never easy, but when you’re a celebrity, constant attention from the media makes it that much harder.

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Relationships between family members can become strained for many reasons, sometimes to the point where you can’t even speak to each other and are no longer together with your loved one.

Lindsay Lohan, famously troubled actress, was estranged from her father for many years due to problems in their relationship.  When they tried to work things out, a media frenzy made the reconciliation overly public.

Are you estranged from any of your family members?  What kind of situation could cause you to become estranged from your parents or siblings?

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Vocablet of the Day: No-frills

The behavior of the newly elected pope, Pope Francis, has caused some people to raise their eyebrows — from his recent act of including women in a ritual of foot-washing to his no-frills lifestyle.

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The newly elected pope, Pope Francis, does things a little differently than past popes.  His manner is less formal, and his lifestyle has been described as offering or providing only what is necessary.

Leaving behind the elaborately decorated clothing that other popes have worn, Pope Francis chooses a more no-frills style.  He has even decided to live in Vatican guesthouse instead of the papal apartments, preferring their simplicity.

I think Pope Francis’ no-frills lifestyle makes sense, reminding believers that faith and compassion are what’s important, not displays of wealth.  What do you think?  Is your own style more no-frills, or do you like a bit of flash and glamor?

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Vocablet of the Day: Canoodle

What’s that?  Two stars have been caught canoodling on camera?

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Celebrity gossip has always been popular, especially when it’s about two stars caught kissing and cuddling in an expression of love.

Celebrities who are known to be an item are often not shy about showing it, canoodling in public where their actions can be caught on camera by paparazzi.  But when there are rumors that a couple has split up, every touch is magnified: was that just a friendly touch, or something more?

In the United States, some amount of canoodling with your sweetheart in public is socially acceptable.  In other places, all PDA (public displays of affection) are frowned upon.  How do you feel about it?

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Vocablet of the Day: Appoint

When you think of a police dog, you probably picture a German Shepherd or other big, powerful canine, right?  Then this new member of a Japanese police department may surprise you!

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Though he may be an unusual choice, the chihuahua that was selected for a job or role on a disaster squad is fully trained and up for the task.

Big things sometimes come in small (and very cute) packages.

Some police dogs need to be large and strong to take down criminals.  Others need special training to sniff out drugs or bombs.  This little chihuahua may not be overpowering any dangerous people, but he’s smart and capable of the job he was appointed to do.

I appointed my pet cat to the position of “Vice President in Charge of Naps” in my house.  What other jobs can animals be appointed to do?

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Vocablet of the Day: Debacle

There’s nothing worse than watching referees make bad calls when your favorite team is playing.  Unfortunately for NFL fans, that’s been happening far too often lately.

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Bad calls from temporary officials have led to frustration from players, coaches, and fans alike — turning every NFL game into a complete collapse or failure.

The NFL officials are on strike, which means there are substitutes taking their place.  The subs clearly don’t know what they’re doing, making bad calls and causing collective groans from football fans across the United States every Sunday.  When will the debacle end?

Remember the debacle when the player from Real Madrid dropped the Copa del Rey trophy in front of the team’s bus?  What other sports debacles can you remember?

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Vocablet of the Day: Outfoxed

All animals have the instinct to fight for their lives, even in the most unexpected ways.

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In an ironic twist, a hunter was beaten by cleverness or trickery by the very animal he was trying to kill.

This little guy may look cute, but try to hurt him and you could find yourself in big trouble!

The hunter was outfoxed by, yes, a fox.  The fox was wounded, and when the hunter tried to grapple with it, the fox managed to pull the trigger on the hunter’s gun, shooting him.  The prey outfoxed the predator!

The outfoxed-Hunting Accident Vocablet highlights a strange but true story about an unfortunate man who was shot by the fox he had formerly wounded.

Do you know of another story where a human was outfoxed by an animal? Share it!

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Vocablet of the Day: Altercation

Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan can’t back down from a fight… even at his own wedding.

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Weddings are meant to be peaceful, happy events, but Hulk Hogan’s wedding took a dramatic turn when a member of his entourage got into a noisy heated situation or quarrel with a member of the paparazzi.

The altercation happened because the camera-holder was trying to snap pictures of Hogan’s big day.  No punches were thrown, however, so the altercation ended without violence.

The altercation-Hulk Hogan Wedding Vocablet highlights the drama possible when celebrity bodyguards and paparazzi clash.

Actor Johnny Depp once hit a member of the paparazzi with a wooden board.  What other celebrity-paparazzi altercations do you know of?

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Vocablet of the Day: Spur

Soon, cigarette packs in the United States will boast large warnings and graphic images, like a pair of cancer-ridden lungs.  But will these methods get smokers to quit?

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The Food and Drug Administration in the United States is about to begin a new campaign to give an incentive or encouragement to smokers to quit.

Soon, cigarette packs in the U.S. will have warnings like these from the UK.

Starting in October, cigarette packages will be labeled with warnings about the dangers of smoking in an attempt to spur smokers to quit.  Hopefully, these highly visible warnings will  be more effective in spurring smokers to quit than other methods that are more easily ignored.

The spur-Cigarette Dangers Vocablet highlights a public health step that is overdue for the United States — placing strong warnings about cancer and other health risks on cigarette packages.

Do you think this kind of tactic will help spur smokers to quit?  Or will smokers simply ignore these warnings?

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