TIME, Obama and new words

My first issue of TIME arrived last night with Barack Obama on the cover.  (Okay, am I supposed to see this as a sign that I should go to that book signing this Thursday?)  Thanks to my Continental Airlines mileage account which has lain dormant since that trip to Cancun in 2001, I am expecting a slew of magazines to start arriving.  I’m a happy camper.  I read half the magazine on the way to work this morning and look forward to getting one of my favorite news magazines regularly again.  Even in Manila, I used to subscribe to Newsweek, Asiaweek and Time, although not always at the same time.

This week’s edition has a feature story on Obama by Joe Klein, THE FRESH FACE which touches on the front page teaser “Why Barack Obama Could be the Next President” (!), an excerpt from Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” and an interview with Clint Eastwood on his upcoming epic “Flags of our Fathers”.  There is also a one-page interview with Tim McGraw, hubby of my favorite singer Faith Hill.  

I stumbled into a new word in Joe Klein’s article which gave me the idea to start a new category or tag here in the blog.  (My Blog server has reverted from doing categories to tags) and I thought I’d go back to something I had started doing when I was still a student.  We all come across new words but we rely on contextual meaning to help us understand it.  When I started reading novels, I decided to list down these words and I would then spend time finding them in the dictionary and acquainting myself with their definitions once I finished reading the book.  I probably would never use them or not even remember them for everyday conversation, but I wanted to know the meaning of the words in a conscious effort to increase my vocabulary.  The amusing thing is that I read through Joe Klein’s article and found “disquisition” (which, I surmised, meant “discussion,” and I couldn’t help but wonder why Klein just didn’t use the word.)  I hopped on to Webster.com and looked it up, and yes, it does mean discussion.  (Just had to be sure.)  In contrast, Obama’s writing was plain English, albeit written in very fluid prose.

It’s not your cut and dried narration.  There is a certain eloquence in his writing sans the highfaluting words.  But just reading the excerpt sees me agreeing with Klein’s observation that “(Obama) is not quite ready to answer the tough questions.”  You be the judge, but so far, I think he’s an interesting person worthy of the read.. and maybe the effort to have an autographed copy of his book.  I’m thinking I’ll go towards the end of the book signing instead of going for the beginning.  He signs from 12NN to 3PM, and will sign only 3 copies of the book, and one of his earlier book, Dreams of My Father, but you have to purchase at least one copy of Audacity of Hope.