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AZ Week Notebook entry


Sharp-eared viewers of Friday's Arizona Week likely heard me use the wrong word -- twice -- in an interview. The word: auspicious, defined as "showing or suggesting that future success is likely."

Wrong word, wrong usage, wrong placement in the interview. Just plain wrong.

Here's the context: I was speaking with Rana Singh Sodhi, brother of a man murdered in Mesa four days after 9/11 in a hate crime when he was mistaken for being Muslim because he wore the turban of the Sikh religion. I was asking Mr. Sodhi about his wearing of the turban:

"In your religion, you wear the turban and the beard as part of your religious symbolism. But it makes you auspicious, shall we say, and people may not understand that. How do you deal with that ... ?" See it at the 3:48 mark of the program.

Again, at the 6:01 mark, I said: " ... someone suggested to you that you not wear it (the turban) because you would be less auspicious ... "

Early in the video editing process -- and too late to redo the interview -- I spotted the wrong usage and couldn't believe my years! I had used the wrong word, twice. How could that happen? I knew and know the meaning of "auspicious."

The word I meant to use is "audacious," meaning "daring, bold, marked by originality." Its usage in the context would have been more appropriate. Wish I had used it.

On reflection, the most appropriate word in the context would have been "conspicuous," meaning "obvious to the eye or mind ... attracting attention."

Apologies to one and all, especially those of you offended when someone brutalizes the language. I'm usually in your camp, yet I find myself meekly casting my linguistic eyes downward.

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About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.

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9-11 Rana Singh Sodhi Sikh religion