CLIFF DIVING: a Mexican sport involving huge risks

I have to say it clearly and loudly:  I’m afraid of heights.   I always have been. I remember when I was just a kid and went swimming with my best friend and his parents at a place where there was a high dock for a tourist boat to tie up.  Everyone loved to jump off […]

SHAMBOLIC: highly disorganized, in shambles

Talk about reacting to the moment.  Our word for today is shambolic, a word I heard for the first time an hour ago.  David Brooks, who I consider to be one of the most thoughtful, intelligent conservative commentators on television, was a member of a panel convened by David Gregory, the host of Meet the […]

PENCHANT: a strong inclination toward something

Different people have penchants toward different things.  Popeye, for instance, loved spinach, and whenever he was in trouble all he had to do was pop open a can of spinach and consume it and his muscles took over. It isn’t all that simple for most people, in spite of their penchants.   I happen to like […]

ELOCUTION [el-uh-KYOO-shuh n] : the art of speaking clearly and persuasively

Back in the 1940′s and 50′s there were few, if any, speech therapists in the school systems.  I’m not aware of any. But it was during that era that my mother became an elocutionist, someone who worked with children and adults who had speech problems.   There was a constant flow of people in and out […]

MACHIAVELLIAN [mak-ee-uh-VEL-ee-uh n] : characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty*

If there was ever a person in history who earned the title of infamous it has to be Niccolo Machiavelli, who lived at the turn of the 16th Century.  He was a politician in Italy who, believe it or not, is considered the founder of the study of political ethics.  Those of us who are […]

CONTENTMENT: satisfaction

The day after  Christmas Day is made especially great when there is a feeling of contentment.  All holidays are not necessarily positive, and there can be such stress and anxiety that the feeling the day after is one of relief that it is over. But for the portion of our family that was able to […]