OUTLIER: someone who stands apart from others of his or her group


This political season has given rise to the use of any number of words that have a “fresh” meaning to them.  Among those words is the term outlier.  It’s not a new word, having been around since the 1600’s having been used to describe stones that have been quarried buy not used.  They lie around […]

THE BEST: without competition at the same level

the best

I’m not fond of articles that declare someone to be “the best” in some field.   It always seems to me that it’s a very subjective thing to declare someone to be better than someone else.  Is it true for the person in all areas of life, or just in one capacity?    Who made the decision?  […]

AVULSION: a part torn off

avulsion 2

This will be short. Yesterday I posted about a probable fracture to the PINKIE FINGER of a professional baseball player, Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Jays.    I had indicated that the report of the accident in the game against the Red Sox had produced a word worth reviewing. Last night my friend, Mac, told me […]

BREAK A LEG: a theater expression meaning “knock ’em dead”

How many hundreds of times have I heard this comment and cringed?   Oh, I know it’s a warm and friendly call-out to an actor who is about to go on stage, but for some reason I can’t get past the literal meaning of the phrase.   So I decided to spend some time looking at its […]

DEFERENCE: respectful submission or yielding to the judgment, opinion, will, etc., of another

There are some who would identify deference as a weakness.  In an age and society in which getting ahead at any cost prevails, the idea of acknowledging the superiority of another can be seen as a sign of inferiority.  Those who strive for the top of the pile might subscribe to the theory that one […]