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May 15, 2017 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Documentary"
Definition--Documentary- n. a film or television show, usually nonfiction, that is driven by political, social, or economic ideas and agendas.

Discussion-Documentary-type television shows are all the rave right now, as we are constantly being bombarded by images of "reality" shows such as "The Real World", "Survivor", and "Big Brother", People have always been fascinated by watching other people, and television producers are exploiting this natural desire to the fullest. While these shows are not true documentaries (they have very little political, social, or economic focus), they certainly do adopt a style that is very similar to the typical documentary.

Real documentaries have become quite popular in recent years as well. Gone are the documentaries that were so dry and boring that the only station that would run them is PBS or other local television stations. "Hoop Dreams", a documentary about two young basketball stars struggling to achieve their dream of playing in the NBA, was a full-feature movie released several years ago. It received critical acclaim and did quite well at the box office.

No matter how many documentaries become financial successes, many of us will always consider a true documentary to be the National Geographic Study of Animals Nobody Has Ever Heard Of. If something is entertaining, it can't be a documentary...can it?

Etymology--Documentary- a derivative of the word document, from Latin documentum, meaning example, proof, or lesson. The meaning of a motion-picture based on actual events first came about around 1930, probably borrowed from the French film documentaire.

Note the similarities in the foreign translations. All of the translations show striking similarities.

   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  documentaire (de)
French:  documentaire (m)
German:  Dokumentarfilm (m)
Italian:  documentario
Spanish:  documental

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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