QUANTUM LEAP: a sudden, dramatic increase

Quantum is a word formerly reserved to the field of science and metrics.  It referred to measurement, specifically meaning that there was a huge, sudden up-tick in quantities of whatever was being measured. However, in recent years the word has been co-opted for use in more common language patterns, signifying, again, a sudden, dramatic increase […]

DEVASTATE: to lay waste

Today the term devastate could have different meanings to different people.   The hurricane that struck the Northeast yesterday has left millions of people in situations that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, dangerous, and … yes … devastating. Homes have been washed away, flattened, ripped apart, and isolated.   Many cities and towns are under water, isolating people in […]

IDEATION [ahy-dee-EY-shuhn] : the forming of an idea or image

Where do ideas come from?   A question for the centuries. I suppose there are thousands upon thousands of answers to this question, which is, in a sense, a self-referencing concept, or autology. Just to be able to ask the question requires what it describes: an idea. But ideas spring up from the darnedest places and […]

RUE: to wish that something had never been done; sorrow over a previous action

In this economic era we often hear the words “buyer’s remorse” and “seller’s regret.”   It has to do with disappointment over having made an economic arrangement about the sale or purchase of property based upon standards of the moment.  When the situation changed dramatically, there was sorrow that the principals over-reacted.   It could be said […]

GOBBLEDYGOOK [GOB-uhl-dee-gook] : language characterized by double talk and an overabundance of jargon

It is clearly one of the most frustrating things that can confront someone.   The clerk, salesperson, company representative, or politician is asked to explain the product or the topic at hand.  The answer is completely unintelligible.   It is filled with all kinds of words that don’t amount to a hill of beans.  They are jargon […]

ALGORITHM [AL-guh-rith-uhm] : a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps

It helps to boil down the meaning of a technical word by using a common experience as an illustration. This is especially true when we are dealing with a word as complex as algorithm.  In its most complex situation, an algorithm is a formula used by scientists to replicate a highly-technical procedure.   Scientists, mathematicians, research […]