Claque – Friday’s Word of the Day

Our word of the day from Dictionary.com is claque. It’s a noun that means: a group of persons hired to applaud an act or performer; a group of sycophants.

Here’s how this word came to be:
Hired groups or squads to applaud actors and performers are nothing new. The Roman author Suetonius (75 – 150 a.d.) in his “Life of Nero” (chapter 20, in “Lives of the Twelve Caesars) reports that Nero hired 5,000 young men and taught them three different kinds if applause to use in his performances. In Paris by the mid 19th century, claques were organized into “platoons” whose various squads were rehearsed to laugh, cry, comment on, and encourage the actors. The great conductor Arturo Toscani (1867-1957) impised discipline and decorum on audiences and was instrumental in suppressing claques. Claque entered the English language in the 19th Century.

Claque is a perfect word for our current alternate reality. The powers that be think we need coaching when we’re told an apple is a banana. And not just any banana, but the most amazing banana in history of bananas. We need a cadre of claqueurs to rally and extol the amazing virtues of bananas from the sidelines. Their job is to convince us that what we’re hearing with our ears but failing to see with our own eyes is not what we think it is. They tell us when to laugh at unfunny jokes. They applaud wildly, standing in ovation to encourage us to do the same. These shills are paid for their loyalty and I learned that the professionals of this shady craft might even resort to extortion should the entertainer fail to pay for their feigned accolades by rousing choruses of boos. What is our world coming to?

As for me I like watching spectacles from the edge, trusting my intuition to come to my own conclusion. For example…It is not a banana. I know bananas. It is an apple of course. Your jokes are not funny and I refuse to reward you with applause for your outrageous claims. Thank you very much!

You can read more about this interesting word of the day at Wikipedia HERE.

Have a great weekend. And remember, if it walks like a duck and claques like a duck, it’s probably a turtle…..Ha! And I didn’t even need a laugh track to get a chuckle out of you…at least I imagine you smiling right now.

Here’s a little Haiku to reward you for reading this far.

the gullible gush
awed by the fake ovations
of shills and claqueurs

~kat


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