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February 20, 2014 - Word of the Day: vulture

 

A vulture is a large bird that eats dead animals. Vultures are found in desserts around the world. There are many birds that eat from the carcasses of dead animals, but vultures have the best reputation for it. Sometimes the the word "buzzard" is used to name these flesh-eating birds.

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The word "vulture" can describe a person whose behavior is repulsive or when a person takes advantage of a situation:

  • The vultures who work for that company will do anything to turn a profit.
  • Lawyers began to appear suddenly--like vultures-- before the woman who was injured in the accident.
  • The kids hovered over the freshly baked pizza like a bunch of vultures.

The term "vulture capitalism" refers to venture capitalists, individuals or corporations that buy weak companies that have great assets but bad management. Venture capitalists may bring short-term financial stability to a troubled company; however, the company is usually sold off at a big profit, resulting in job losses for employees of the company that is sold. Mitt Romney's involvement in venture capitalism prior to the 2012 U.S. election caused some voters to question his ability to bring long-term relief to the U.S. economy--although he never did anything illegal.

 

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