5-Letter Word Sparks Big Debate - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

5-Letter Word Sparks Big Debate

AOL.COM - The New York Times Crossword Puzzle is the highlight of many a wordsmith's day and one in particular found a discrepancy in the newspaper's Saturday edition (Jan. 7) when a slang word wasn't given its proper meaning.

Freelance editor and writer Julieanne Smolinski questioned crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz' inclusion of the word "illin'," which by hip-hop standards is usually defined by being all things excellent and positive. However, the definition that made it onto the pages of the famed crossword puzzle didn't match up to what is widely known and rapped about on Nas' 'Illmatic,' Beastie Boys' 'Licensed to Ill,' Red Cafe's 'I'm Ill' or T.I.'s 'I'm Illy,' a song Smolinski referenced when she contacted Shortz -- with a "z" for hip-hop, of course -- about the error.

"The clue for 28 down reads 'Wack, in hip-hop,' and the answer provided is 'ILLIN.' These are not the same things, at all!" Smolinski, who's penned articles for GQ, MTV and Details, wrote to the NY Times. In response, Shortz defended the meaning by citing the Dictionary of American Slang, the Dictionary of Contemporary Slang and the online Urban Dictionary. From his perspective, illin' is the exact opposite of her argument.

The BoomBox spoke with Julieanne Smolinski about this great hip-hop debate and why she decided to take precious time out of her day to defend a word coveted by rap enthusiasts everywhere.

"Well, I'm really busy and important, as both a writer and humanitarian," she tells The BoomBox. "But I'm also a dedicated puzzle solver, and the Saturday crossword is sacred. I won't have it besmirched by error. Besides, the actual copy on Times website where you submit corrections invites you to contact them if you are 'concerned about the paper's journalistic integrity.' So, I had a responsibility."

Now that the Internet is taking sides over what illin' actually means, people may think Shortz and Smolinski are at odds. However, that's not the case; she didn't feel slighted at all by his reply. "I actually wasn't annoyed at all -- Shortz is a hero of mine," Smolinski reveals. "I do, however, take slight issue with his sources. A slang dictionary written by a guy who died in 2002 at the age of 81? Yes, slang is mutable, but I wouldn't exactly call that current."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coeur d’ Alene woman dies after driving car into Fernan Lake

    Coeur d’ Alene woman dies after driving car into Fernan Lake

    Monday, April 23 2018 1:41 PM EDT2018-04-23 17:41:13 GMT

    On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call,...

    >>

    On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call,...

    >>
  • Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:21:59 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>
  • 9-year-old boy dies in ATV crash near Boulder

    9-year-old boy dies in ATV crash near Boulder

    Monday, April 23 2018 10:54 AM EDT2018-04-23 14:54:28 GMT

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A 9-year-old boy died in an all-terrain vehicle crash on a rural road north of Boulder over the weekend.   The Montana Highway Patrol says the ATV went off Sloans Lane early Sunday afternoon and tipped onto its side. The boy was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.   His name has not been released.

    >>

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A 9-year-old boy died in an all-terrain vehicle crash on a rural road north of Boulder over the weekend.   The Montana Highway Patrol says the ATV went off Sloans Lane early Sunday afternoon and tipped onto its side. The boy was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.   His name has not been released.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/