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Contemplate if you will how useful our previous word psaphonic would be, amid today's shock-culture, if it refers to extreme or outrageous self-promotion. Think Howard Stern, Janet Jackson, Dennis Rodman. On a higher level, some might say, "Think Donald Trump and Eliot Spitzer."

Or consider a woman currently in the news: Martha Stewart. This week we'll cull words from the news and commentary about her.

One strongly psaphonic aspect is how closely her business is identified with her person, in both name and in image.

eponymous – relating to an eponym; giving one's name to a tribe, people, country, and the like.
quote:
Martha Stewart Living's Stock has traded on the fate of its eponymous founder for the past several months.
– Gregory Zuckerman, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2005 p. C1

Living – Without Martha: The Eponymous Company Will need a New Game Plan Should Its Founder Go to Jail
– The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2004 p. B1 (article headline and subhead)

Two quotes from the same day's edition - but notice the difference? In the first quote eponymous refers to the person for whom the company is named; in the second it refers to the company named after a person.

Which is correct? Technically, the former: in correct usage, "eponymous" applies to the person rather than to the thing named after him or her; for the latter, the precise word is epynomic. Less technically, many press accounts speak of Ms. Stewart's "namesake" company.

[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Tue Mar 9th, 2004 at 7:26.]
 
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What an interesting theme! Wink However, for the record, I think that Martha got the shaft in that jury decision.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
What an interesting theme! Wink However, for the record, I think that Martha got the shaft in that jury decision.


While I'm sure this is all very interesting, can someone clue us poor English in about what's actually being discussed here ?

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For the benefit of our foreign friends, here's a clue.

Stewart was convicted Friday, along with stockbroker Peter Bacanovic, of lying about why she sold 3,298 shares of ImClone Systems stock on Dec. 27, 2001, just before it plunged on a negative report from government regulators.

Stewart was convicted of conspiracy, making false statements and obstruction of justice. Bacanovic was convicted of conspiracy, false statements, obstruction and perjury — but cleared of falsifying a document.

Both are expected to get 10 to 16 months in prison when they are sentenced June 17. Both have said they will appeal.
 
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Martha Stewart became a millionaire several times over (billionaire, maybe?) starting off as a local caterer and growing into this past century's prime "style guru" in regards to how best throw a party, redecorate one's home, etc. Jokes about her are often told regarding her techniques for creating attractive formal dinner centerpieces out of tissue paper, cigarette butts, and pipe cleaners. An exaggeration of course but that's the kind of thing she's famous for.

Or should I say "was famous for." Now she's famous for selling a sizable amount of stock the day before the company tanked with the sale apparently being the result of insider knowledge not available to the common schlub on the street. This is illegal over here and, in my opinion, rightly so. She was caught, tried, and recently found guilty and faces a maximum sentence of some 20 years. The general word on the street though is that if she does any time at all, it will be in the neighborhood of two years or less and that within a month of being incarcerated she will have the most fashionable cell in the prison.

Meanwhile the Enron bastards, among many others, who were guilty of similar crimes easily thousands of times more serious, far-reaching, and profitable (for them, natch) at the expense of others are still walking free. I strongly feel that Martha, bless her little cloth-napkin-folding little heart, is guilty and deserves to get her well-manicured hand slapped but she is only a very small fish in a very dirty pond while some exceptionally nasty barracuda are allow to swim free. As an American, I feel a great sense of shame...


(and aren't you glad you asked?)
 
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Well Bob, you got both barrels that time.

What neither J.T. nor I mentioned however was the fact that many people consider Martha, now in her 60s, to be quite the hottie and I admit that I'm definitely one of them. The only way she could be any sexier would be if her name were a double dactyl. "Empress Martha Stewart" has six syllables (not to mention making for a pleasant fantasy) but sadly the stress is all wrong.
 
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Mergery perjury
Peter Bacanovic
Guilty of unloading
Company stock

Though Martha's famous for
Eponymosity,
News of the verdict
Comes as a shock

Confused Eek Razz
 
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CJ, you are simply mistaken when you say,
quote:
Martha Stewart ... Now she's famous for selling a sizable amount of stock the day before the company tanked with the sale apparently being the result of insider knowledge not available to the common schlub on the street. This is illegal over here and, in my opinion, rightly so.


She was emphatically not convicted of insider trading. In fact, the only securities-law change against her (which was a different charge) was dismissed by the judge.

To put the matter briefly: She had been brought before a grand jury and asked, "Did you do thus-and-so?" She denied having done that act -- which would not have been illegal even if she had done it. Whereupon the prosecutors, claiming that her denial was a lie, charged her with the crime of lying to the grand jury. It was that of which she was convicted.
 
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Furthermore (and you all know that Shufitz and I are on opposite sides of the political continuum), the amount of money was quite small, compared to Enron or Worldcom. I am convinced it was because she is a woman.

From the articles I have read, the opinions on Martha Stewart's innocence or guilt are not related to being politically conservative or liberal. One of the most liberal people I know thinks this decision was a travesty.

Oh, and here is another Web site.

[This message was edited by Kalleh on Tue Mar 9th, 2004 at 21:05.]
 
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pandemic – affecting a large part of the population over a wide geographical area

quote:
Is this verdict a landmark in the effort against the corporate malfeasance pandemic?
– Jessie Eisinger, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2004, p. C1


Distinctions:
Endemic means peculiar to a place or to a class of persons: endemic to the tropics.
Epidemic means simultaneously afflicting a large proportion of the a community.
Pandemic means epidemic over a wide geographical area.
 
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Now, with my comments above, I certainly didn't mean to say that I think Martha Stewart is a good person; in fact, all indications are that she is not. I was only referring to the court decision made, and I arrived at that conclusion after reading and hearing from legal scholars.

This was printed in the Chicago Tribune this morning by Kathleen Parker, referring to Martha Stewart. (Incidently, Kathleen Parker is not a favorite of mine!) Her quote just may include another "Martha Stewart" word for wordcrafter to consider:

"In the history of unsympathetic characters, she has few peers such that whoever invented the word "schadenfreude"--the enjoyment of another's troubles--must have been privy to the oracle predicting her birth."

As if we wordcrafters wouldn't know the meaning of "schadenfreude!"
 
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quote:
Originally posted by shufitz:
CJ, you are simply mistaken when you say,
quote:
Martha Stewart ... Now she's famous for selling a sizable amount of stock the day before the company tanked with the sale apparently being the result of insider knowledge not available to the common schlub on the street. This is illegal over here and, in my opinion, rightly so.


She was emphatically __not__ convicted of insider trading. In fact, the only securities-law change against her (which was a different charge) was dismissed by the judge.



No, actually we're both correct. I wasn't mistaken, I simply wasn't clear enough. I was trying to make the distinction between Martha's fame from her decorating skills and her infame resulting from her legal wrangles.

Sidenote: Yes, "infame" actually is a word (I just now looked it up) although I swear that I thought I had just now jocularly coined it myself using "famous/infamous" as a template.

To get back to Martha, she is now famous and/or infamous for unloading her stock (true) just before the company tanked (also true) in a way so that it APPEARED that she had the advantage of an insider. Her resulting fame in this regard, both in the buzz in the street and the fodder it provided late night comics, revolved around, if you'll allow me to quote myself, "the sale apparently being the result (emphasis added) of insider knowledge..." You are definitely correct in stating that she was not found guilty of insider trading.

I, however, am guilty of imprecise speech and for that I throw myself on the mercy of the Wordcrafter Court.
 
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I hereby sentence you to 1 month of using the word "epicaricacy" whenever you possible can! Razz
 
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Quoth Kalleh:
quote:
I hereby sentence you to 1 month of using the word "epicaricacy" whenever you possible can!
Do I detect a note of schadenfreude in your glee at CJ's need to reword his original post? Wink
 
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Today's word fits lasts week's theme as well as this week's. (This week's only tangentially, for I hasten to note that Ms. Stewart's case involved no bacchanalia).

bacchanalia - a riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity; a revel
[from Latin, from Bacchus, god of wine, from Greek Bakkhos]

The adjective form is bacchanalian. One who indulges in drunken revels is a bacchanal (accent on either first or last syllable); bacchanal is also another term for a drunken or riotous celebration.

quote:
As it happens, Stewart's case ended one business day before closing arguments in the trial of L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chief executive of Tyco International. The Kozlowski case has dragged on and it has gone relatively unreported, except for when the jury got to see the video of Kozlowski's $2.1 million birthday bacchanalia for his new wife Karen.
– Dan Ackman, Martha, Dennis And Corporate Scandals, Forbes, March 8, 2004
 
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conflate – 1. to bring together; meld or fuse 2. to combine (as two readings of a text) into one whole.
[Latin conflare to blow together, from con- with, together + flare to blow.]

Today's quotation is from today's press. Query whether the author was confusing conflate with confuse.
quote:
And though Stewart was acting as an individual and hers wasn't a case of corporate wrongdoing, there's been a widespread tendency, of both the public and the media, to conflate the two.
– Alexandra Marks, Amid schadenfreude, sympathy for Martha, The Christian Science Monitor , March 12, 2004
 
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yes, the definitions of confuse and conflate are often conflated, Wink as here from http://www.thesaurus-dictionary.com

to blow together; to bring together; to collect; to fuse together; to join or weld; to consolidate. to ignore distinctions between, by treating two or more distinguishable objects or ideas as one; to confuse.
 
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turpitude – depravity, baseness orbase act; shameful wickedness
[from Latin turpitudo, from turpis, ugly, foul, base]

Almost all usages are in the phrase "moral turpitude", which seems reduntant. Can anyone explain what might be "non-moral turpitude"?
quote:
But even if her own company does not insist that she step down, the Securities and Exchange Commission is likely to do so when she is sentenced June 17. "When you have questions of moral turpitude, the S.E.C. ... has applied such bars," said Joel Seligman, dean of the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
– Constance L. Hays, Imagining Business Without Stewart, New York Times, March 12, 2004
 
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there are of course lots of citations without the qualifier; to wit, "How would'st thou haue payed My better seruice, when my turpitude Thou dost so Crowne with Gold." (Shakes. Ant. & Cleo.)

But a related citation also contains some commentary: They are turpitudinous dolts who befoul the language each time they use it.
Smile
 
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The word "turpitude," of course, brings the movie "Porky's" to mind but, unfortunately, I can't make this comment without having admitted to seeing that film.

(6 or 8 times...)
 
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Ms. Steward is sometimes called a domestic doyenne, sometimes a domestic diva. Let's compare the two terms; for the latter, it will be helpful to note prima donna.

doyenne – a woman who is the eldest or senior member of a group
[doyen – 1. the masc. equivalent 2. the oldest example of a category]

quote:
After getting battered in the wake of her indictment last year, the stock has risen smartly in recent months [up to the day of the verdict] … But much of the buying has come from investors betting that the doyenne of domesticity would be exonerated.
- Gregory Zuckerman, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2004 p. C1

diva: A prima donna is 1. a principal female singer in an opera ; or 2.: an extremely sensitive, vain, or undisciplined person. Most dictionarys define diva as simply the first meaning of prima donna, but some give the second meaning as well (limited to women). I believe the latter are correct. As noted in Time Magazine, October 21, 2002, "By definition, a diva is a rampaging female ego redeemed only in part by a lovely voice."

diva – a principal female singer; also, an extremely arrogant or temperamental woman.

quote:
There is little question, in our opinion, that this particular set of facts would not have led to prosecution if the person in question had not been Martha Stewart - the all-too-successful domestic diva that many Americans loved to hate or felt ambivalent about.
– Jacksonville (North Carolina) Daily News, March 10, 2004

Call it sympathy for the diva. In the wake of Martha Stewart's conviction last Friday, a wave of compassion for the steely domestic doyenne has swept through water-cooler conversations and onto editorial pages.
– Alexandra Marks, Amid schadenfreude, sympathy for Martha, The Christian Science Monitor, March 12, 2004
 
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verdure – the lush greenness of flourishing vegetation; also, metaphorically: a fresh or flourishing condition: the verdure of childhood
quote:
It's worth trying to imagine what it would be like if, with a wave of her hand from prison, all the verdure Martha Stewart caused to grow suddenly vanished. I think we would be surprised at the breadth of her effect. The sadness her conviction causes comes in part from feeling how it diminishes her, how she has diminished herself. But it also comes from feeling that it diminishes everything she discovered about us and the world we live in, even though that can never be true.
- Verlyn Klinkenborg, Martha Stewart's Legacy: 'It's a Good Thing', New York Times, March 12, 2004
 
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Would "verdure" be related to ordure?
 
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quote:
Would "verdure" be related to ordure?
Webster's says no. "Ordure" is from French ordure, Old French ord filthy, foul, from Latin horridus horrid.

"Verdure" is from French verdure from Latin viridis green.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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