Tag Archives: words

Humble

“I’m humbled, honored, proud.”  ~Michelle Obama, at the unveiling of her official portrait (source) I don’t think she knows what the word “humbled” means. Of course, the word “literally” now literally means “figuratively,” so maybe the definition of “humbled” changed, too, while I was distracted with other things.  Maybe I’m the one using it wrong. …

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SM

This is a pretty esoteric list:  words that end with “sm,” excluding ones that end with the suffix “ism.”  If you include the ones with that suffix– ageism, sexism, dadaism– the list becomes too unmanageable. So, with that caveat, I could only come up with three: chasm prism spasm

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Vocabulary

(source)

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Tightening the Heartstrings

“What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. …

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Lest

The only time people use the word “lest” anymore is on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, when they like to say, “Lest we forget.” It’s a pompous, pretentious word, and I don’t care for it.

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Language

From the introduction to Eyewitness to History edited by John Carey,  © 1987: To achieve this effect the good reporter’s report must be individual. It must restore to his experience the uniqueness it rightly possesses– and which worn-out language tries to rob it of. Nietzsche argued that language was originally developed to shield mankind from …

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Words

(via The Daily Don)

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Resources

I saw a real change in this country when they changed the name from “Personnel Department” to “Human Resources.” That’s when we changed from being “persons” to be respected to “resources” to be exploited and discarded.

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Geography

Bands with names based on geography: Boston Atlanta Rhythm Section Chicago Dixie Chicks Texas Tornadoes Alabama America Kansas Georgia Satellites Kentucky Headhunters Orleans After careful consideration, “Earth, Wind, and Fire” was disqualified because the “earth” in the title refers to an element, not a place. Please add the ones I’ve overlooked in the comments.

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Sketches

In this excerpt from Beyond Words by Carl Safina, ©2015, the author discusses the role of words in communication: Words are at best a loose cargo net of labels that we throw over our wild and woolly perceptions, hoping to catch and observe some of our thoughts and feelings. Words are sketches of the real …

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Centric

Anthropocentric:  an·thro·po·cen·tric (ăn′thrə-pə-sĕn′trĭk) adj. Regarding humans as the central element of the universe. Interpreting reality exclusively in terms of human values and experience.   Some people are looking at this and thinking, “Of course!” Some people are not.

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Homonyms

English, as a language, certainly has room for improvement.  Case in point: eminent:  above others in quality or position imminent:  close in time,  about to happen immanent:  of a mental act performed entirely within the mind

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