Daily Briefing


What's New?

The Politics page has been updated to reflect the winners in Pennsylvania's 2018 General Election on November 6.

My reading pace lately is start a book in late spring, finish it in early fall! Check out my review of Blood Orange by Susan Wittig Albert.

My hometown theater gets its own documentary! See what's up At the Drive-in here.

The Song of the Day for January was the most-requested song of 2018 on Sirius XM's Alt Nation.

If it's January in Pennsylvania, then it's time for the PA Farm Show. Head to Harrisburg and get your milkshake on!

Word of the Year

A panel of linguists has decided the word that best reflects 2018 is tender-age shelter, which refers to "the government-run detention centers that have housed the children of asylum seekers at the U.S./Mexico border."

The term first appeared in June 2018 as reports emerged that infants and young children were being held in special detention centers after being separated from their families who crossed over the southern border, some illegally. Officers of the American Dialect Society said, "The use of highly euphemistic language to paper over the human effects of family separation was an indication of how words in 2018 could be weaponized for political necessity. But the bureaucratic phrasing ended up backfiring, as reports of the term served to galvanize opposition to the administration's border policy."

The American Dialect Society chose the Word of the Year on January 4, 2019 at its meeting in New York City. Other nominees for WOTY included white-caller crime, which refers to white people calling police to report black people doing mundane things; yeet, an indication of surprise or excitement; and X strong, used to express solidarity after a tragedy in a particular place, such as "Pittsburgh strong."

Tender-age shelter was also a finalist in the Euphemism category but did not win. It lost out to racially charged, which is a roundabout way of saying "racist."

You can read the entire news release here.