HEGEMONY [hi-JEM-uh-nee]: the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others


While hegemony is a word that primarily denotes the act of a singular country or world power taking control of weaker entities, it has a meaning that is far more familiar to us in the United States today.    Hegemony can also apply to a force within a country that becomes so powerful as to be […]

CLERISY [KLER-uh-see]: a privileged class of people who are well-educated


  The artist, the scholar, and, in general, the clerisy wins its way up into these places, and gets represented here, somewhat on this footing of conquest.” [Ralph Waldo Emerson; Manners; 1844.] There’s a malicious side to education that nobody wants to talk about.  It has to do with the concept that most people don’t […]

ANIVUT : humility , a feeling by the individual that he lacks inner worth , an appreciation that he amounts to very little *


I was reading David Brooks’ column in the NYTimes  yesterday, the first day of Passover.  He called it “A Long Obedience.”    In the midst of his column I stumbled across the word anivut, and I knew that I was reading a word for the first time. I wrote it in my research notes, and then […]

EXCEPTIONALISM: the declaration of special attributes missing in others


It seems that there has been a need to express something about this country that is probably evident to everyone who lives here.  Over the past couple of years the term exceptionalism has become a common utterance in political speeches on both sides of the aisle.   It is an attempt to define the United States […]

The Penultimate Posting: Tomorrow will be my 1,000th Blog Posting!

In October, 2009, I posted my first ever blog posting along with a promise that it would be the first posted every day.   Except for a couple of days when I was in the hospital and one when my technology failed, I’ve kept that promise and TOMORROW, AUGUST 29, 20112, WILL BE MY 1,000th POSTING […]