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Screed

screed is a long, often boring, and sometimes angry letter or discourse. It is also a device, usually a piece of wood, that is used to level wet concrete or the thickness of a plaster wall.

It is not a verb, or the past tense of scree, which is in fact a group of rocks on a mountainside.


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It comes from the same root as shred, namely the Middle English word screde, which was a strip of something or a small part.

Examples

Reeling in the wake of James’ decision, Grant took Riley’s offer to team owner Dan Gilbert, who just hours earlier had written a searing screed against James on the Cavaliers’ official website, accusing him of a “cowardly betrayal.” [ABC News]

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell recently wrote a screed claiming that Net Neutrality supporters have taken a turn “toward undermining free speech.” [Huffington Post]

The trouble started when The Blockinator called Shannon and Simon into their work-in-progress ensuite bathroom and informed them that their concrete screed was about 30% too high and that the floor couldn’t support the weight. [Daily Mail]

The application foresaw the creation of a lido through the laying of polyethylene sheeting over the rocky coast and the use of screed to make up the level terraces. [Malta Today]

In 2013 we saw countless screeds (most of them online) about 12 Years A Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, and The Wolf of Wall Street, all of which dealt with controversial subjects: slavery and racism, AIDS and LGBTQ politics, corruption and capitalism. [LA Magazine]

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