October 21, 2021

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Word + Quiz: purport

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verb: have the often specious appearance of being, intending, or claiming

verb: propose or intend

noun: the intended meaning of a communication

noun: the pervading meaning or tenor

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The word purport has appeared in 29 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Oct. 23 in “John Wilson Reveals the Absurd Poetry of New York” by Nathan Taylor Pemberton:

While “How To” is Wilson’s first TV series, it’s essentially an expansion of the offbeat “tutorial” videos he has been making on his own since 2010. Like his new show, these early shorts would purport to offer viewers insight into mundane tasks, inspired by the YouTube explainers that fascinated the filmmaker.

“I would watch them and want to know why this person became obsessed with air-conditioners,” Wilson said. “Was it a divorce, or something emotional?”

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