NTMP #25: Squoaf mode
Only the fanciest of footballs for me.
New-to-me Phrases, July 24, 2022
The Phrases, With Context
A relatively short list this week, which feels in tune with this phase of the summer in North America. Here in the Midwest it’s like a hot wet oven outside and the weeds have once again established themselves as the dominant plants in my yard and conquering allergens in my respiratory system. Fun! If you’ve ever seen a pumpkin plant grow tendrils around everything in its path, then you know how creepy plants can be. I’m onto you, you slow-moving green devils!
Anyway, this week we have Meryl Streep once again being great at a thing most people suck at, colorful combustion, a little-known sixth Beatle, and more. Let’s get to it!
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1. Glasses business
This is a NYT link, so you need to be a subscriber to read it (sad wah-wah trumpet if not), but it’s a fun read by Amanda Hess titled “Meryl Streep’s One Weird Trick,” which (spoiler alert) is using eyeglasses as acting props without seeming cliched:
“It’s stunning how often our most celebrated movie actress has built her performances on one of the form’s hackiest bits. I now follow this trend not with incredulity but with reverence.”
2. Sad wah-wah trumpet
This is the phrase my daughter—who does not read this newsletter—came up with while trying to conjure “sad trombone.” This is the same child who, when trying to remember the name of one of the Beatles, said “Carl McCarthy.”
Fun fact: Alexa will play a few notes when you ask her to play either option.
3. Yellow Explosion
This is both the name of a daylily and proof that I’m 12.
4. Fancy football
I misheard my husband, who does read this newsletter, talking about fantasy football.
This phrase comes from another NYT piece (sorry! ::liberal elitism intensifies::) about how our elders are thriving on TikTok.
This was in a NYT crossword a while back and I, an uncultured rube, had no idea that Nigeria has a prolific film industry.
This is how my middle child, who also does not read this newsletter, described the squirrel pictured above in loaf mode.
8. Grey farts
I honestly can’t remember the context for this one, but 1) It’s an unsettling phrase and 2) it got me thinking about how I can never remember the proper usage for grey vs. gray, so here’s a neat explainer from Merriam-Webster.
(Spoiler: There really isn’t a proper usage; Americans prefer gray and Brits prefer grey. I wonder why I default to the latter?)
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, and remember to stay curious and furious!