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verb:  1. let or make (something) fall vertically.  2. fall vertically.

Noun:  1. a small round or pear-shaped portion of liquid.  2. an instance of falling or dropping.

Here we have a word in flux.  People use it all the time, but it has acquired a new meaning that can be a bit confusing.

Before we get to that, let me share my favorite “drop” story.  It concerns the city editor back in my newspapering days.  He was a frustrated fellow, and perhaps with reason.

Every time the court reporter would file a story saying the local D.A. had “dropped charges against” some person, the city editor would get annoyed.  “Klunk!” he would say, imagining the sound of something falling on the previously indicted individual.  The editor tried many times to rewrite the phrasing to eliminate the klunky bit, poor guy, but he never succeeded.

Now let us proceed to the present day.


This is a new project, a series of songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, who who wrote, directed and starred in the musical, “Hamilton.”  (I am a fan of big Hamilton, the man and the play.)

“Hamildrop,” if I am using the term correctly, is a series of new musical pieces based on themes from the play.  Or it could be that it is a group of “Hamildrops;” I’m not quite sure.

The first was a Benjamin Franklin song rendered by The Decemberists, which was okay.  Personally, I prefer the second, “Wrote My Way Out,” a hip-hop number that came out in late January.

The New “Drop”

Miranda, a man of his moment, has adopted a recent media/entertainment use of the word “drop,” which is now a synonym for “release.”

I noticed it earlier this year when the the press was abuzz about a new, not particularly good Justin Timberlake song.  Since “drop” is a shorter word than “release,” virtually all the headlines about the announcement used that word.  Examples:

Billboard:  Justin Timberlake’s New Single ‘Filthy’ Set to Drop on Friday!
Variety: Justin Timberlake Drops Futuristic New Video and Song, ‘Filthy’
CBS: Justin Timberlake drops new single and music video “Filthy”
US Weekly: Justin Timberlake Drops New Single ‘Filthy’ and Futuristic Music Video
MSN.com: Justin Timberlake drops video for new single ‘Filthy’
There were more, actually many more, but I think I have made my point.


Since then I have noticed the word several times in non-headline contexts.

— One article talked about the 1970s comic book series that was the source material for the “Black Panther” movie; the article said the comics had been “dropped at a time when newsstands were still the primary mode of distribution for comic books.”

— Then an online writer mentioned early reactions to an article he had dropped earlier in the week.

— Many entertainment sites now refer to trailers (once called “previews”) being dropped for new films.

So “dropping” now can mean publishing, releasing or broadcasting.  It’s a thing.  Watch for it.

Another Dropped Story

In December 2017, a headline like this one, was flashed on entertainment news websites and publications.

John Travolta’s ‘Gotti’ Biopic Dropped by Studio
Here, the d-word was used in its traditional sense, which appeared to be bad news for Travolta and his film.
From the TMZ website: “Lionsgate is dropping John Travolta’s upcoming movie just 10 days before it’s(sic) scheduled release date.”
The speculation was that “Gotti,” —  about a mafia boss who had people whacked but was devoted to his family and generous to charities — might not hit the right tone in an era of #metoo and #theresistance.
In fact, the story was wrong.  Lionsgate planned to place the movie in only a few theaters.  The company had sold its distribution rights to an investor with plans for Cannes and thousands of multiplex screens.
So it is possible that “Gotti” will be dropped (ca. 2018) soon in a theater near you.

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