Words! Words! Words!

A last call, a jazz hall, and a departing know-it-all

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jan 16, 2018 8:32:22 AM

jazz playerOn this day in 1919, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” was ratified and became the law of the land. The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for total national abstinence. By the late teens, the ill effects of alcohol were rampant throughout America. Some say the 18th Amendment was just in time.

Jazz has been called “America’s classical music,” a label that does more than just recognize its American origins. The label also makes the case that jazz is worthy of aesthetic consideration alongside music usually thought of as “classical.” In the current era, when programs of Duke Ellington and J.S. Bach often draw the same highbrow crowds, that argument hardly seems controversial. In the 1930s, however, the notion was almost laughable, which is what made Benny Goodman’s January 16, 1938, concert at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall so revolutionary. Goodman and his supporting cast claimed a new place for jazz on the American cultural scene that night, in what has come to be seen as the most important jazz concert in history.

On a sadder note, on this day in 2013, Pauline Phillips, who for more than 40 years wrote the “Dear Abby” newspaper advice column, died at age 94 in Minneapolis after battling Alzheimer’s disease. Using the pen name Abigail Van Buren, Phillips made her “Dear Abby” debut in 1956, and over the ensuing decades dispensed witty advice on a broad range of topics, from snoring to sex.

See if you’re sober enough to “Sing, Sing, Sing” today’s vocabulary quiz and be ready to advise all your friends on the best words to use in everyday speech.




How do you stack up?

Score Your Rating
All 10 Apparently you study by moonshine rather than drink it. Here! Here!
7-9 At least you are sober (we think).
4-6 OK, but can you swing all night with the band?
2-3 Our personal advice: read more.
0-1 Your own personal agony column.


Further to question #1:  Without the 'e' it is always Scotch; with the 'e' it can be anything!


Intro text: history.com
Definitions: Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary


The sober, well-advised, jazzed readers recommend ProofreadNOW.com to all their friends.

Topics: vocabulary test, vocabulary, vocabulary quiz

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