Thursday, October 19, 2017
Grammar

3 Words People Looked Up During the Oscars

The Oscars had people looking up a few words Sunday night before the big mixup at the end of the Academy Awards ceremony.

The Oscars prompted spikes in dictionary lookups for a few words during Sunday night’s ceremony.

Who says an awards show can’t be educational!

The first word being looked up was the award’s popular name itself: Oscar, which saw a 510% spike in lookups Sunday night, according to Dictionary.com. The statuette’s official name is the Award of Merit.

As the popular story goes, Academy librarian and eventual executive director Margaret Herrick commented that the award looked like her Uncle Oscar, and in 1934, a columnist used the name while describing Katharine Hepburn’s first best actress win. Five years later, the Academy made the name official.

Two leading ladies, meanwhile, Best Supporting Actress Viola Davis and Best Actress Emma Stone,
prompted flurries of lookups as well.

Davis, during her acceptance speech, spoke about finding inspiration:

“People ask me all the time—what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories—the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost.”

Mental_Floss reported lookups of exhume jumped by 274 percent.

To exhume means to dig up something buried, especially a body; or to “revive or restore after neglect or a period of forgetting; bring to light.” I watch enough Forensic Files reruns that I wouldn’t have had to look that one up.

Stone’s speech, meanwhile, called her win “a huge confluence of luck and opportunity.”

The word confluence has a few definitions, but the applicable one here is “a coming together of people or things; a concourse.”

The big buzz, of course, focused on the mistaken announcement of La La Land as the Best Picture winner instead of Moonlight. It now appears the accounting firm responsible for handing out the right card to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway gave Beatty a duplicate Best Actress card instead of the Best Picture card.

There are plenty of words that come to mind to describe that moment, but some of them aren’t necessarily family-friendly.

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Patrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.