Oxford’s 2020 Word of the Year? It’s Too Hard to Isolate

The Oxford report also highlights words and phrases relating to social justice, including “Black Lives Matter,” “Juneteenth,” “decolonize,” and “allyship,” some of which surged dramatically starting in late May, amid the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody. But those increases, while notable, were nowhere near those of pandemic-related terms.

And the pandemic may have actually reduced the frequency of other topical words. Last year, Oxford released an all-climate related short list, topped by “climate emergency.” But in March, as the pandemic took hold, the frequency of the word “climate” itself abruptly plunged by almost 50 percent.

(Usage has since rebounded a bit, and the report also flagged the emergence of some new climate-related terms, like “anthropause,” proposed in an article in the journal Nature in June to describe the sudden drastic reduction in human mobility, and its impact on the natural world.)

The pandemic turned once-obscure public-health terminology like “social distancing” or “flatten the curve” into household terms, and made words and phrases like “lockdown” and “stay-at-home” common. More subtly, it also altered usage patterns for ho-hum words like “remote” and “remotely.”

Previously, the most common collocates (as lexicographers call words that appear most frequently together) of “remote” were “village,” “island” and “control.” This year, Ms. Martin said, they were “learning,” “working” and “work force.”

The Oxford report also highlights increased use of “in-person,” often in retronyms, as lexicographers refer to a new term for an existing thing that distinguishes the original from a new variant. (For example: “land line” or “cloth diaper.”) In 2020, it became increasingly necessary to specify “in-person” voting, learning, worship and so on.

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Deadline to claim your stimulus money this year is passed. What to do now

cash funds running out of money change dollars wallet empty

We’ll show you how to claim your share of the stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS deadline to register a claim this year for a missing stimulus payment was yesterday, Nov. 21. If you missed the Saturday deadline, it doesn’t mean you won’t get a payment, but you won’t get a check this year and will have to wait until 2021 to clam your money. We’ll show you how to do that.

Below, we explain how to see if you’re eligible for more economic impact money and how to estimate your total stimulus payment. This payment is separate from a second stimulus check, which Congress is still considering as part of another economic stimulus package if negotiations can yield a bipartisan agreement on the substance of the legislation.

The federal government still owes money to millions of Americans from the first round of coronavirus relief payments. According to ProPublica, more than 12 million people still hadn’t received all they were due by late October. We outline who may qualify for more money in the first round and who might not be eligible for a second payment, should there be one — read on for more information. This story was updated recently.


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Next stimulus checks: What to expect



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People who don’t normally file a tax return

In September, the IRS started sending letters to 9 million Americans who may qualify for a payment but perhaps didn’t know they needed to register to claim it. This group — which the IRS categorizes as “nonfilers” — includes people who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, such as older adults, retirees, SSDI recipients and individuals with incomes less than $12,200. Those in this group needed to file a claim using the Non-Filers tool by Nov. 21. The IRS said if you missed the deadline you can claim the payment — which it calls a “Recovery Rebate Credit” — in 2021 when you file a 2020 federal income tax return:  

When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Save your IRS letter – Notice 1444 Your Economic Impact Payment – with your 2020 tax records. You’ll need the amount of the payment in the letter when you file in 2021.

People missing a payment for a dependent child

Under the CARES Act, each qualifying child dependent — those 16 years and younger — was eligible for a $500 check. But some people’s payments were short $500 for each eligible dependent. 

If you claimed it by Nov. 21, you could receive the payment in December. You can use our stimulus check calculator to get an idea of how much you may be owed.

As with the nonfilers, if you missed the deadline, the IRS said you can claim the payment on your 2020 federal tax return in 2021, by filing a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR.

Note that in a few cases, where

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How the electoral college works and how the president will be selected this year



a close up of text on a white background: A Pennsylvania elector holds her ballot for President Donald Trump on December 19, 2016. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
A Pennsylvania elector holds her ballot for President Donald Trump on December 19, 2016. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

  • In the United States, Americans don’t directly elect the president.
  • Instead, states appoint a number of electors equal to the number of representatives they have in Congress to the electoral college, a system that was devised in the 18th century by the founders of the United States. 

Voting in the 2020 presidential election ends tomrrow on November 3. In the United States, Americans don’t directly elect the president. And contrary to popular belief, there is no constitutional right to vote for president.

Instead, states appoint a number of electors equal to the number of representatives they have in Congress to the electoral college, a system that was devised in the 18th century by the founders of the United States. 

All states except for Maine and Nebraska use a winner-take-all system in which the candidate who wins the most votes earns all of the state’s electoral college votes. 

This system has resulted in some presidential elections — like the ones in 2000 and 2016 — in which the winner of the national popular vote loses the electoral college, sparking criticism that the electoral college is fundamentally undemocratic and disenfranchises voters. 



a person on a court: Harris County election clerk Jose Mendoza watches over voting booths during early voting for Texas primary runoffs on June 29 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


© (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Harris County election clerk Jose Mendoza watches over voting booths during early voting for Texas primary runoffs on June 29 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Here’s the timeline for how the electoral college will play out in 2020.

November 3, 2020: States appoint their electors  

States must appoint their electors to the electoral college on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November under a federal law passed by Congress in 1845.

Today, all states hold popular elections to determine how their electoral college votes will be allocated, but they aren’t required to do so by the constitution or by federal law. For much of America’s early history, legislatures directly voted on how to appoint their electors without any input from the voters. 

In most previous years, TV networks and outlets like the Associated Press have been able to call the winner on election night based on the available results and projections from data like exit polls.

But importantly, the results of any election are never finalized on election night. In every US state, state laws explicitly allocate multiple days or weeks for officials to fully canvass and then certify the results.

And due to the projected increase in the proportion of Americans casting mail ballots, which take longer to process and count than in-person votes, there may not be enough available results to declare a winner on election night. 

During the canvassing process, canvassing boards, which are usually composed of county-level election officials, process and tabulate not just the votes of those who voted in person, but absentee and mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, and ballots from overseas and military voters.  

The canvassing process immediately after the election is the time in which we’re

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McEldrew Young Partner Eric L. Young Named “Lawyer of the Year” for 2020 by the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The law firm of McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is pleased to announce that its co-founder and name partner, Eric L. Young, was honored as one of two “Lawyers of the Year” for 2020 at the 20th Annual Conference & Awards Ceremony of the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (“TAF”).  TAF also named James E. Miller of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, as a recipient of the award. TAF is the nation’s preeminent organization dedicated to combatting fraud against the government and advocating for stronger whistleblower protections. It also serves as a significant resource for whistleblowers and their attorneys who bring actions under the federal and state False Claims Acts, as well as the whistleblower programs of the IRS, SEC and CFTC.

Mr. Young and Mr. Miller were honored for their groundbreaking work representing three whistleblowers in two successful qui tam False Claims Act cases against two of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers − Novartis and Teva. Both cases were hard-fought and required substantial investments of time and resources for both law firms. In total, more than 100 depositions were taken across the nation, and over $6 million were advanced for expert fees and investigatory expenses in both cases.

Young and Miller’s work leading up the settlement in United States ex rel. Bilotta v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Corp., No. 11-CV-00071 (S.D.N.Y.) spanned more than a decade and was based on a qui tam complaint alleging that the drug maker violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute by paying unlawful kickbacks to doctors who prescribed one of nine different cardiovascular drugs.

According to the allegations in the complaint, Novartis provided incentives to physicians, such as cash, meals, alcohol, hotels, travel and entertainment, as part of a sham speaker program that was in place at the company from 2002 to 2011.  At many of these speaking engagements, it was alleged that doctors were not required to make presentations, and there was typically minimal discussion about medical issues. As part of the settlement, Novartis entered into a corporate integrity agreement with the government which, among other things, placed strict limits on future remuneration paid to speakers as well as the amount of funding that could be allocated to speaker training programs.

Likewise, TAF recognized Young and Miller’s trailblazing work in an alleged kickback case against Teva Pharmaceuticals. The settlement in United States ex rel. Arnstein and Senousy v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-03702 (S.D.N.Y.) was also based on allegations that the pharmaceutical company paid illegal kickbacks to doctors as an incentive to write prescriptions for two drugs that treated multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Notably, the government declined to intervene in this case and Young and Miller’s firms proceeded to litigate the case to a successful conclusion. As a result, the two whistleblowers received an award of 29% of the government’s recovery. In general, when the government intervenes in a False Claims Act case, a relator is eligible for

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How 3 recent college grads make over $100,000 a year freelancing

  • Gen Zers are increasingly taking on freelancing while navigating a tough job market during the pandemic.
  • Three recent college graduates shared with Business Insider their success stories and best practices on making six-figure incomes.
  • If you want to pursue freelancing full time, they suggested treating it like a business.
  • Once you’re getting enough projects, work on consistent marketing, increasing your rates, and networking.
  • “It takes time to build a freelance business, so take it step by step — persistence is key,” freelancer Michael Jajou said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

According to a recent study published by Upwork, “Freelance Forward: 2020,” an increasing number of young adults are turning to freelancing for career opportunities.

The study found amid a tough job market, made even more difficult due to the recent impacts of COVID-19, half of the Gen Z workforce between the ages of 18 and 22 have freelanced in the past year, and of those more than 36% started since the onset of COVID-19.

The study also found that Gen Z represents a greater percentage of the freelance population than any other age group, including millennials (ages 23 to 38) who make up 44%, Gen X (ages 39 to 54) at 30%, and boomers (ages 55 and up) at 26%. 

Additionally, 32% of new full-time freelancers polled indicated that they began freelancing while still in school or right after completing their education. 

This indicates a growing number of Gen Zers who are turning to freelance opportunities in lieu of traditional employment — and out-earning more per hour than 70% of their peers in the US workforce by doing so.

Three recent graduates shared with Business Insider how they got their starts in the freelance world and built up to six-figure incomes.

Ashley Mason graduated in 2019 and has already earned $130,000 this year as a freelance marketing professional

Ashley Mason

Ashley Mason.

Ashley Mason


Ashley Mason graduated from Stonehill College in 2019. This year, at just 23 years old, her freelance business has already brought in over $130,000 in profit to date, and is projected to pass the $175,000 mark by end of year.

Mason’s journey into the freelance world began when she was just a sophomore in high school after starting a fashion and lifestyle blog when she was 15. 

“I’ve been entrepreneurial-minded for as long as I can remember, and I was constantly trying to find ways to make money when I was younger,” Mason said. 

As organic interest in her blog grew, opportunities for paid partnerships began trickling in. It was through these paid partnerships that Mason began to see an opportunity emerge. 

Many of the brands she was partnering with lacked an online presence of their own. 

“I knew from my own experience how important social media was for building a brand,” Mason said.

And so, to test the waters, gain a bit of professional experience, and grow her portfolio as a first-time freelancer, Mason offered these brands marketing and social media services on a pro-bono

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What Does A Year Of College Really Cost?

What does it really cost to go to college? That simple question often defies an easy answer and generates a lot of anxiety because of inconsistencies and confusion in the way college prices are presented to the public. And in some cases, the confusion – or alarm – is stirred by pundits who cite only the “sticker price” of college even though they know that’s a price that the majority of students do not actually pay.

Now, with the release of the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2020, students and families have a source they can use to determine the average annual costs of attending a two-year college, a four-year public university, or a private, not-for-profit four year institution. Of course, the figures are only averages, sure to vary from college to college, and they suffer the inevitable limitations when national data bases are combined, but they still provide important benchmarks for comparison purposes.

Trends distinguishes between “published price” which is the price institutions charge for tuition and fees as well as room and board (for students living on campus) and “net price” which is what students and/or their families must pay after all financial aid is subtracted from the published price. In addition, the full cost of attendance also includes the annual amount that students pay for books and course materials, supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses.

Here’s a summary of net costs of attendance for three sectors of higher education.

Public Two-Year Colleges

In 2020-21, the average annual net cost for first-time, full-time, in-district undergraduates at a public two-year college was $14,560, $20 less than the average in 2019-20.

The published sticker price for a year’s cost of attendance was $18,550, but the average student received $3,990 in financial aid, resulting in a final average price of $8,860 in tuition and fees and room and board plus $5,700 in books and supplies, transportation and other personal expenses.

Among all first-time, full-time students in this sector, 71% received financial aid grants.

Public Four-Year Colleges

In 2020-21, the average net cost for first-time, full-time, in-state students at public four-year colleges was $19,490, $30 dollars less than the average in 2019-20.

The published sticker price for a year of attendance was $26,820, but on average students received $7,330 in aid, so the final average price they faced was $14,850 in tuition and fees and room and board, in addition to $4,640 in books and supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses.

In 2018-19, the last year for which adequate data were available, 74% of first-time, full-time undergraduates received financial aid grants, and 49% of the total aid they received came from college and universities themselves.

Not-For-Profit Four-Year Colleges

In 2020-21, the average net cost for first-time, full-time undergraduates attending nonprofit, private four-year colleges was $33,220, $370 dollars more than the average

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Eagles’ Brandon Graham explains why he’s on pace for career year in 11th season

Brandon Graham was about to jog back onto the field on Thursday when Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata gave him some last-minute motivation.

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With 40 seconds left in the game, Mailata told Graham to think about his daughter when he reentered the field for the final defensive series of the primetime matchup against the Giants. The Eagles’ defense needed to make a stop against the Giants to win the game, and Graham was ready to make his daughter proud.

“He said, ‘Act like Emerson is watching,’ my baby girl,” Graham said about his conversation with Mailata. “‘Give her something to be proud of.’”

On second-and-12, with 29 seconds left in the game, Graham beat right tackle Cameron Fleming for a strip-sack on Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Fellow defensive end Vinny Curry collected the ball and clinched the 22-21 win.

“It’s just something about the end of these games, with the rotation that we have, you feel stronger,” Graham said. “You just can’t wait because you know you are in a pass situation and all you have to do is make a couple moves, get to the quarterback, hoping that he holds the ball. And he held the ball right there, went straight for the ball.”

The big play was Graham’s sixth sack of the season. He’s on pace for 13.5 sacks this year, despite only topping 9.5 sacks once in his previous 10 seasons.

Through seven games, Graham has 21 tackles (nine for loss), six sacks, 10 quarterback hits and a forced fumble. He’s been on fire, despite the team’s regular struggles on defense.

Graham credits the Eagles’ pass-rushing rotation and his new diet for his impressive pace this season.

“I think just really taking on my nutrition this year more serious than I ever have,” Graham said. “The body is feeling really good right now. I feel fast. Then with our rotation, that is helping a lot … because in that fourth quarter when you need a play, I feel like you know I felt in the first quarter.”

When Graham received a three-year contract extension from the Eagles in 2019, he said his goal was to make three consecutive Pro Bowls and produce 10 or more sacks in all three seasons.

He failed to accomplish either goal in the first season of his deal, but now he is on pace to complete both tasks in his 11th season.

Get Eagles text messages: Cut through the clutter of social media and text directly with beat writers Mike Kaye and Chris Franklin. Plus, exclusive news and analysis. Sign up now for a free trial.

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Coastline College’s Dr. Aeron Zentner is the Recipient of the Institutional Effectiveness Project of the Year Award

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aeron Zentner, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness: Research, Analytics, Accessibility, Planning, and Grant Development at Coastline College was recently honored by the Research and Planning Group (RP Group), a distinguished research and education focused non-profit, formed almost 30 years ago to advocate for and support the use of data and evidence to encourage effective policy and practice within the California state community colleges.   The RP Group organization strives to build a community college culture that views planning and institutional effectiveness as integral, collaborative strategies, that work together to promote student success, increase equitable outcomes, improve college operations, and inform policymakers.  

The award recognizes excellence and outstanding achievements in research, planning, and institutional effectiveness and represents a project that addresses models, process, or tools that serve as a breakthrough in areas of institutional effectiveness.  Under Dr. Zentner’s leadership and guidance, Coastline College developed an instructor-led data coach training online course, entitled “Data Training and Coaching for Higher Education Professionals.”

The course provides colleges the opportunity to train their own data coaches by presenting the fundamentals of applied data analytics, data collection, data analysis, data presentation, and facilitating conversations using data in a higher education setting. Tools and activities included in the course can be adopted and adapted to help institutional researchers expand their efforts to strengthen data awareness, access, application, and confidence to utilize information to build and support planning, innovation, and change. The instructor-led online course shell is available for free on Canvas Commons.

According to Dr. Zentner, “In building this infrastructure to strengthen data literacy, we wanted to develop a data coach training course and activities (e.g. data labs, micro workshops, interactive web tools) that support data awareness, access, analysis, and action.  We complemented this vision by encouraging cross-functional cohorts, which fostered new collaborations in support of building a community of practice around data utilization.”

Dr. Zentner has been a Dean at Coastline for over six years and has focused on developing and implementing effective data analytics processes and facilitating strategic planning efforts to foster a community of data literacy, innovation, and change.  He and his team has completed over 5,000 research related projects and been awarded over 40 grants.  Dr. Zentner has published over 70 working papers and articles around innovation, leadership, strategy, and higher education and has delivered statewide, national, and international presentations on similar topics.  

Dr. Zentner’s educational credentials include a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) with an emphasis in Strategy and Innovation, a Master of Science in Administration (M.S.A.), a Master of Science in Leadership (M.S. L.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Business Administration (BA).  He also has certifications in data science, executive data science leadership, leading breakthrough innovation, innovation leadership, disruptive strategy, qualitative research methods, foresight practitioner, root cause analysis, total quality management, six sigma, and project management.

 

About Coastline College:

Coastline College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  For eight consecutive years, Coastline College

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Should college students go home for Thanksgiving this year? Here’s what experts say.

Just months after deciding to send their children to college campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic, many families are now facing another difficult dilemma: How to safely welcome students home without introducing a deadly virus into their households.



a close up of a toy


© iStock


There is no universal approach to Thanksgiving this year for colleges and universities. Though some are encouraging students to stay on campus for the holiday, others are allowing them to go home for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Still more are sending students home to begin their winter break or finish their semesters remotely.

Those who are going home will be arriving from sites that, in many cases, have become hot spots for covid-19 and will be making the holiday pilgrimage at a time when cases of the novel coronavirus are surging again nationwide. To make things even more complicated, college students are often asymptomatic, meaning they could unwittingly transmit the virus, “especially during a multigenerational celebratory Thanksgiving meal,” said Rochelle Walensky, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“It’s not a recipe for stuffing,” Walensky added. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”

[As holidays near, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, putting families in a quandary about celebrations and travel]

Still, it’s clear that some college students and their families will want to be together, despite the risk. “It might be safer for kids not to go home, in terms of protecting their family, but we’re all very aware of the emotional toll that will take — to have families separated for the holidays,” said Aaron Milstone, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Students at colleges and universities planning to end their in-person fall semesters before Thanksgiving or switch to online-only instruction afterward may have no choice but to go home for the holiday.

Here’s what experts say parents and students should be considering to reduce the chances of infecting family members, whether they return at Thanksgiving or closer to Christmas.

[Colleges can be covid-19 hotspots. Here’s how to talk to your kid about safety.]

Take the risk seriously

Milstone urged students to think of their holiday trips in stark terms. “You could inadvertently give this to someone and it could kill them,” he said.

“I know a lot of young people think, ‘It’s not a big deal. My friends have gotten it, they all did fine. They had to stay in their rooms. No big deal,’ ” added Milstone, who is also a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins. “But that’s not the case for your parents and your grandparents.”

Young people have been identified as sources of some family outbreaks, infecting their older, more vulnerable relatives who live in the same household.

Experts also point out that travel could increase students’ risk of exposure to the virus, and that holiday celebrations held indoors to avoid the cold could facilitate transmission. In Canada, where Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October, officials have blamed an uptick in case counts on holiday gatherings.

[Canadian Thanksgiving could

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Middle class students more likely to win preferred university place this year, research finds

Middle class students were more likely to get a place at their preferred university this year, research by the Sutton Trust has found.

72 per cent of pupils from wealthy families said they were accepted at their top choice university compared to 63 per cent of their less well-off peers, according to a new report by the social mobility charity.

Researchers examined the role of predicted grades in the admissions system and whether it gives an advantage to students from richer backgrounds.

In general those from better off backgrounds do better in exams than their peers and so would be more likely to achieve the grades required to secure a place at their first choice university, the Sutton Trust said.

But they also noted that in the “chaos” of this year’s exams, children from wealthier backgrounds might have had better support to navigate the system, particularly those whose parents know more about the system.    

A poll of 500 university applicants found that working class teenagers were more likely to say they would have applied to a more selective university if they had known their A-level results when making decisions.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “The utter chaos of this year’s university admissions exposed major flaws with the system that are due principally to our reliance on predicted grades.”

He argued that moving to a post-qualifications admission system, where students apply to university after receiving their A-level results, would benefit “high achieving low-income students as their grades are often underpredicted”.

This summer, A-level grades were awarded based on teachers’ predictions after a controversial algorithm was ditched.

But only 38 per cent of applicants received grades that matched their teachers’ predictions, the Sutton Trust report found.

32 per cent of students from state schools said they were underpredicted by teachers, compared to 26 per cent of those from private schools.

 University lecturers backed a move to a post-qualification admissions system, saying that the current one is “not fit for purpose”. 

Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “This report shows students are receiving university offers according to inaccurately predicted results, with students from more affluent backgrounds more likely to gain a place at their preferred university than their less affluent peers.

“Allowing students to apply after they receive their results will help level the playing field, remove the problems associated with unconditional offers and end the chaotic clearing scramble.”   Universities UK, which represents vice-Chancellors, is currently reviewing university admissions and is due to report on its findings later this year.

 “The review group is analysing the evidence and views of applicants towards predicted grades, unconditional offers and post-qualification offer-making, and exploring ways in which those from disadvantaged backgrounds can be better supported throughout the process,” they said.

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