Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one tailspin or multiple tailspins.)
A tailspin is a fast, helpless fall into a very bad situation.
Here's a literal tailspin:
(If you're like me, you just looked at that image and said "Pshewwwwwwwww.")
"Tailspin" is also a verb: tailspin, tailspinned (not "tailspun" as you might guess, although people do say it that way), tailspinning.
How to use it:
For the noun, talk about something going into a tailspin, falling into a tailspin, being in a tailspin, being sent into a tailspin, and so on. Sometimes you'll use the plural: "This economy is in total tailspins." You can also talk about something's tailspin or someone's tailspin, or a tailspin into something: "The narrator's tailspin into madness is fascinating."
For the verb, talk about something tailspinning: "The game tailspinned after my opponent bought Park Place."
Oh, you found a new show you love on Netflix? And there are five seasons of it available? Get ready to tailspin into utter laziness for the rest of the weekend.
My sister doesn't like the tailspin into unconsciousness that Nyquil sends her into.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "tailspin” means when you can explain it without saying “crash and burn” or “collapse."
Think of something in your life that you experienced or noticed that went really bad really fast, and fill in the blanks: "I witnessed _____'s tailspin into _____."
Example : "I witnessed the calm discussion's tailspin into a bitter fight focused only on blame."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the challenging, endlessly entertaining game; it's called Moot!
A Point Well Made:
Isaac Asimov: “The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.”
1. The opposite of TAILSPIN is
2. Nothing sends a friendship into a tailspin quite like _____
A. rooming together and discovering each other's irritating habits.
B. taking a road trip together and finding new ways to bond.
C. discovering you two have nearly opposite tastes in music.
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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