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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 May 6, 2021 is: deep-six • \DEEP-SIKS\ • verb 1 : to get rid of : discard, eliminate 2 slang : to throw overboard Examples: Citing budget concerns, the city council announced that it has deep-sixed plans to repave the city's bike trails. "The movement impressed the Clinton White House, which began drafting an e…
 
In tonight's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 5/5/21) I undertook the daunting task of attempting to convey to my talmidim the impact that Bruce Lee has had on my personal derech. Although I've quoted Bruce Lee's teachings here and there over the course of the year, I've never really devoted time to explaining exactly how his teachings ha…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 5, 2021 is: sprightly • \SPRYTE-lee\ • adjective 1 : marked by a gay lightness and vivacity : spirited 2 : having a distinctively piquant taste : zesty Examples: "It began with a sprightly melody, exact and almost priggish, which seemed an absurd contrast to the surroundings. People should have been … tipto…
 
When it comes to defining an entire musical genre, especially one with as many forms and perspectives as jazz, the work can get pretty tricky. Even the word itself has a long and sometimes controversial history. Today we'll look at the story of jazz, from the language's point of view. Hosted by Emily Brewster, Neil Serven, Ammon Shea, and Peter Sok…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 4, 2021 is: succumb • \suh-KUM\ • verb 1 : to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire 2 : to be brought to an end (such as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces Examples: "Of all the food experiences I have missed in the last year, one stands out: my regular t…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 3, 2021 is: conciliatory • \kun-SILL-yuh-tor-ee\ • adjective : tending to win over from a state of hostility or distrust : intended to gain the goodwill or favor of someone Examples: As the irate customer yelled, the manager adopted a soothing, conciliatory tone and promised that the situation would be reme…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 2, 2021 is: abjure • \ab-JOOR\ • verb 1 formal a : to renounce upon oath b : to reject solemnly 2 formal : to abstain from : avoid Examples: "Pop was indeed eating itself. 'If you've gone eight bars and there hasn't been an inanity,' argued [musician Green Gartside], 'it's time for a "baby" or an "ooh" or a…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 1, 2021 is: fustian • \FUSS-chun\ • noun 1 a : a strong cotton and linen fabric b : a class of cotton fabrics usually having a pile face and twill weave 2 : high-flown or affected writing or speech; broadly : anything high-flown or affected in style Examples: "In 1798, William Wordsworth arrived from Bristo…
 
In last week's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (4/30/21) we learned three answers to the question, "What is the theme of the Chag ha'Shavuos?" - that of the Ralbag, the Abravanel, and Rav Hirsch. In every machlokess there will be strengths and weaknesses to each side, and we attempted to identify the strengths and weaknesses in each of these three. We ended…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 30, 2021 is: dross • \DRAHSS\ • noun 1 : the scum or unwanted material that forms on the surface of molten metal 2 : waste or foreign matter : impurity 3 : something that is base, trivial, or inferior Examples: "From King John's compulsion by feudal lords to sign the Magna Carta to the execution of King C…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 29, 2021 is: amicable • \AM-ih-kuh-bul\ • adjective : characterized by friendly goodwill : peaceable Examples: "Those two weeks in the high country passed with the most amicable feeling between us, and it was not until the last day that Layton showed the unpleasant side of his personality that we all knew…
 
In tonight's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 4/28/21) emerged from a machlokess Rishonim on how we should divide our learning time. Let's call it Rambam vs. Rabbeinu Tam, for simplicity's sake. Like it or not, most (if not all) of us have been raised in an educational model predominantly influenced by Rabbeinu Tam. Tonight's shiur is not…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 28, 2021 is: herald • \HAIR-uld\ • verb 1 : to give notice of : announce 2 a : to greet especially with enthusiasm : hail b : publicize 3 : to signal the approach of : foreshadow Examples: The appearance of robins heralded the arrival of spring. "The amount of money invested into U.K. tech companies has a…
 
Wait, shouldn't every dictionary be a learner's dictionary? Technically, sure. But today we're discussing a specific resource: Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's English Dictionary, which was designed and written directly for people coming to English from another language. Here's the story of that book and how it changed how our other definitions…
 
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 27, 2021 is: rococo • \ruh-KOH-koh\ • adjective 1 a : of or relating to an artistic style especially of the 18th century characterized by fanciful curved asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation b : of or relating to an 18th century musical style marked by light gay ornamentation and departure from …
 
In last week's Lomdeha Friday Seminar (4/23/21) we attempted to do something that, traditionally, we haven't been very good at: learning bekius (i.e. to cover ground). Since Parashas Kedoshim contains SO many fundamental mitzvos, I wanted to attempt to cover as many as possible, and in so doing, to demonstrate a paradigm for familiarizing oneself w…
 
In last night's Chumash Methodology shiur (given at YBT on 4/21/21) we took up a the controversial but important topic identified by the title. Since I have neither the qualifications nor the desire to tackle such a weighty issue on my own, I decided to read and discuss Rabbi Marc Shapiro's essay יש חיוב להאמין שהזוהר נכתב על ידי רבי שמעון בר יוחאי…
 
It's one of the most notorious grammar peeves in the entire English language: the commandment that one shall not ever end a sentence with a preposition. But is it actually a rule that holds up? Hmm... Hosted by Emily Brewster, Neil Serven, Ammon Shea, and Peter Sokolowski. Produced in collaboration with New England Public Media. Transcript availabl…
 
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