The Gloves Are Off

October 3, 2016

I have subscribed to Anu Garg’s A.Word.A.Day for years. He introduces words to his readers in the context of history and world language. It’s mostly about his love of words and is always interesting, often useful. Reading the commentary that accompanies his daily posts over the years, you can clearly tell he’s a deeply thoughtful, well-read man, who cares about humanity. Sometimes, not often, his daily posts loosely coincide with global events (his readership is international). His commentary is not political so much as ethical, moral and compassionate.

Today’s, and in fact the entire week’s, will be devoted to words describing Trump. Wow. Nothing subtle about that.. the gloves are off, not that Anu Garg is a glove kind of guy. In any case, I’m looking forward to the week.

Journalistically speaking, it seems like maybe, finally, real coverage of Trump is starting to happen. Discerning coverage of Trump has been available from some sources, but the vast majority of people get their information from prominent broadcast and cable channels, and from all the usual ideology-driven sources. This coverage, while constant and relentless, has seemed to follow loose entertainment standards rather than shrewd news and journalistic standards. It’s been so demoralizing.

NPR has not let me down at all this season, they’ve been their usual fair and balanced selves. This morning on NPR, there was a particularly disturbing piece about Trump’s treatment of women, and another, of course, on his taxes, the big story of the weekend.

Going back to Anu Garg: he’s not a traditional journalist, but I’ll trust any commentary on any topic that is guided by morality, compassion and the common good.


with Anu Garg

I usually look for usage examples for words in A.Word.A.Day in newspaper articles. Nowadays, things are a little different — you open any newspaper and top news stories are about a narcissistic con man running for the president of the United States. It’s impossible to avoid them.

So this week we’ll feature all our usage examples from newspaper stories about him. We’ll include links to the stories — do read them. Also, we’ll include quotations from the man himself.

PS: I highly recommend following the reporter Christina Wilkie @christinawilkie on Twitter. Also, the writer Stuart Stevens @stuartpstevens.

PPS: Here’s a review of a new biography of Hitler. Try this experiment: Replace the word Hitler with Trump and Germany with the US in it and see if you can tell the difference.





noun: Excessive self-interest or self-love.


In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter and a young man of exceptional beauty. He spurned the nymph Echo. One day he saw his reflection in water and fell in love with himself. Not realizing it was himself and unable to leave, he eventually died. Earliest documented use: 1822.


“George Simon, a clinical psychologist who conducts seminars on manipulative behavior, says Trump is ‘so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example’ of narcissism. …

“When, in the summer of 1999, he stood up to offer remarks at his father’s funeral, Trump spoke mainly about himself. It was the toughest day of his own life, Trump began. He went on to talk about Fred Trump’s greatest achievement: raising a brilliant and renowned son.”

Dan P. McAdams; The Mind of Donald Trump; The Atlantic (Washington, DC); Jun 2016.


“I feel like a supermodel. Except like times 10. It’s true. I’m a supermodel. I’m on the cover of these magazines — I’m on the cover of the biggest magazines.”

-Donald Trump (reference)

“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”

-Donald Trump (reference)

See more usage examples of narcissism in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.


You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity. -Thomas Wolfe, novelist (3 Oct 1900-1938)

And here is Charles Krauthammer’s take on Trump and his narcissism:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: