H-SAM: “What were you doing on your third birthday?”


As one who is beginning to be concerned about the things I can’t remember…even from this morning…it is strange to find myself flipping to the extreme opposite.  That would be people who have a condition identified as H-SAM.  It is an acronym for the condition of hyperthymesia.  That stands for “Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.”  Hyperthymesia […]

BROWNSTONE: a reddish-brown sandstone, used extensively as a building material.


We’ve lived in cities around the country where apartments or condos were located in what are called brownstones.  They are buildings constructed with the reddish-brown sandstone that give them that name. For the most part, brownstones we have seen are located in upscale portions of the city…and are very expensive to rent or own.  There […]

FOREBODING: a strong inner feeling or notion of a future misfortune, evil, etc.


“There’s just something spooky about that place.” How many times have you said that or thought it?   It’s a common expression of anticipatory fear, stimulated by a setting, a smell, a sound, or a memory.   It tells you deep, down inside that there is something almost evil at play, and the hairs on your neck […]

STOOP: a small porch


We’ve talked before about archaic terms which date back to “the old days.”   Such as davenport (couch); galoshes (boots); and overhauls (jeans.)  But that’s not an exhaustive list.  There are many more. Today’s word, stoop, is one of them.  It is a word that means a small porch, or entry way.    It is important that […]

BULLDOZER: a large, powerful tractor having a vertical blade at the front end for moving earth, tree stumps, rocks, etc.


  I heard the most fascinating brief story on NPR the other day. It was about the design and development of the bulldozer, that big, yellow behemoth that is ripping up the earth as you travel along the highway, tearing down the abandoned grocery store in the next neighborhood, or leveling the back yard where […]

RENOWN [ri-NOUN]: famous, well-known


My wife has a growing practice in New England which is getting a good amount of publicity.  In one article about her recently, she was identified as “…the renown….”  It took us by surprise, and caused some laughter…maybe nervous laughter more than anything else.  The reality is that in her field she is getting to […]