ANARCHY: a state of lawlessness or disorder in society*


Anarchy is a word that strikes terror into the hearts of many people.  I may be one of them, but I’m not sure yet. I was at a street band concert one evening last year and spotted a group of people who were there who identified themselves as anarchists.  To me they looked like a […]

EX POST FACTO: after the fact

ex post facto

There is a bundle of Latin terms which are tossed around in the legal profession, some of which have been adopted into the regular parlance of American English.   One of those words is ex post facto, which is (literally) defined as “after the fact.“  The fact that it is used regularly in our language does […]

MALARKEY [muh-LAHR-kee]: insincere or foolish talk


There are words that belong in our lexicon, but for which we have no specific information about their origin.  They just appear, get repeated over and over, and…the next thing you know…they  become a natural part of the vocabulary we employ on a day-t0-day basis. Such is the case for the word malarkey. It is […]

MUSINGS: some random thoughts on an overcast, late winter day

musing 2

I just finished reading the “Fiction” section of  last week’s New Yorker.  I haven’t enjoyed reading these submissions as much over the past year or so.   Too bizarre at times.   The selection process seemed to be skewed in a direction which didn’t necessarily appeal to me.   I read them anyway. This  submission was good.   The […]

OPINE [oh-PAHYN]: the forming of judgment or stating an opinion


The encouraging of people to express an opinion carries a risk with it.   It might just be that the opinion expressed is troublesome…and may actually be counter to the very point that you are trying to make.   But if you are truthful that you are really looking for diverse opinions, you are safe in opening […]

MAYHEM: random or deliberate violence or damage.


You’ve probably seen the Allstate insurance commercials which feature an excellent actor and stunt man , Dean Winters, who purports to be someone known as “Mayhem.“ I cringe as he survives crashes, explosions, roofs caving in, and any number of very effectively screened disasters. His point is that mayhem happens…even to the best of us.    That […]