October 23, 2021

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Word + Quiz: lampoon

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verb: ridicule with satire

noun: a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody else’s style, usually in a humorous way

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The word lampoon has appeared in 32 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Feb. 26 in the obituary “Claire Bretécher, Satirical French Cartoonist, Dies at 79” by Katharine Q. Seelye:

Claire Bretécher, a satirical, fearless and lacerating French comic artist who was one of the first women to break into France’s male-dominated cartoon industry, died on Feb. 10 in Paris. She was 79.

… She brought a mordant wit to gender issues and was so incisive about the human condition that in 1976 the philosopher Roland Barthes called her the “best sociologist of the year.”

She specialized in holding up to scrutiny the affluent urban female in all her angst, melodrama and hypocrisy. Ms. Bretécher embodied many of her characters’ traits, and she readily lampooned them.

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