MISAPPROPRIATED: to apply wrongfully

This posting is not about stealing money…per se. By choosing the word misappropriated I may have misled you into thinking that I was going to write about embezzlement or fraud.  That’s the way the word misappropriated is usually used.  A (man) in a company misappropriates funds from their rightful location to a secret location which […]

CONTRARY: the opposite position

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?  With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.” It was a childhood nursery rhyme, and like most of them, the words didn’t mean anything out of the ordinary to me.  It turns out that most of the nursery rhymes we learned […]

ESCUTCHEON: a heraldic shield that displays a coat of arms

While I was hospitalized I read Ken Follett’s epic novel, The Pillars of the Earth, which follows the construction of one of the great cathedrals of England over two generations.  A number of years ago I had enjoyed Sarum, a similar, but grander, epic novel tracing the construction of the Cathedral at Salisbury.   Author Edward […]

FOREFRONT: the position of greatest importance or prominence

This morning I was watching an early morning news show, absorbed in the discussion of the unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, and now Yemen.     One of the commentators mentioned that selecting the primary news of the morning is tricky; a lot depends upon one’s perspective.   Some will be focused this morning on the selection of a […]

SNOWBILLY: A derogatory term for a person who was born in or lives in a rural location in northern Canada or Alaska.

A few months ago my colleague, Paul McFedries, listed this word, snowbilly, in his blog, Word Spy. I liked the word and noted it in my word list for later use.  Today as I sit at my computer looking out at more than a foot of new-fallen snow I can’t help but wonder if Paul’s […]

NOT ALL THAT BAD: the State of the Union Event

Well, yesterday you saw my skeptical self and today I’m wearing my “not half bad” tee shirt.   I had little anticipation that anything would come out of the State of the Union Address event which would bring hope or promise.   The President was wedged into a very uncomfortable place where anything he said was going […]