JURISPRUDENCE: a system of laws

This week the U.S. Supreme Court comes back into session, and the expectations are that it will be a historic term.  Volatile issues include voting rights and the Defense of Marriage Act.  But they are only two of the many topics which will find their way before the assembled justices.   I could spend the entire […]

PROVENANCE [PROV-uh-nuhns] :the place of origin, particularlly as in ancient items or art work

The arrival on the scene of a scrap of papyrus with words about Jesus of Nazareth caused a stir over the past few weeks.   It appears that the ancient items, dating back to about 300 a.d., mentions women in a way that is unique to Christian literature.   One phrase even suggests that Jesus was married; […]

KITCHEN SINK: an accumulation of varied items which are seemingly unrelated

Our caterer daughter has the incredible skill of opening our seemingly-empty refrigerator, scanning it for a moment, and then snatching item after item which become a delicious meal.  She refers to her accumulation of varied items as a kitchen sink meal.   It means that the meal is made from an accumulation of seemingly-unrelated items which […]

SAY (n.): one’s opinion in a matter under discussion

There are different categories of words in the American English language.  Some are formal, archaic, casual, slang, or even crude.   It bothers me when the use of words crosses categories.  It is like going to a concert of a city’s philharmonic orchestra and hearing them play “Hey Jude“.   It may be a good piece of […]

HARDSCRABBLE [HARD-skrab-uhl] : great effort made in the face of extreme difficulties

We lived in a very affluent community at one point where there was a road named “Hardscrabble Road.”  I never questioned the meaning of the word when we lived there, but enjoyed driving it and seeing the comfortable, well-kept homes which populated the road.   Little did I know that the naming of the road probably […]

DIPHTHONG [DIF-thawng]: two adjacent vowel sounds in the same syllable

You’ll have to forgive me.  I just love the word diphthong and couldn’t resist writing a post about it.   The illustration to the right, from a very creative website, McCargobe’s Blog Room ,  gives you a chance to actually hear what I am about to describe. For those of you who are more aurally-alert than […]