Word + Quiz: sallow

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Word + Quiz: sallow

adjective: unhealthy looking

verb: cause to become sallow

noun: any of several Old World shrubby broad-leaved willows having large catkins; some are important sources for tanbark and charcoal

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The word sallow has appeared in 12 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on May 14 in “When Grunge Made Blue-Collar Culture Cool” by Steven Kurutz:

More than its fresh sound — a fusing of metal with punk — more than articulating a generation’s disillusionment with capitalist culture, the appeal of grunge, for me, was this: It reflected and ennobled the blue-collar world I knew.

…. Grunge, with its heavy, murky sound and sallow musicians, got at something darker about living in a fractured land. Where many Springsteen songs were enlivened by hope, this music captured the deadbeat side of America. If grunge songs didn’t directly address the concerns of working people, it was nevertheless recessionary music, made by underemployed slackers.

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