CHRONOMETER [kruh-NOM-i-ter]: a wristwatch or other timepiece

wristwatch 6

Chronometers are crafted items which display the time of day and night.   It’s a simple as that. Chronometers originated in the early 18th century and were primarily meant to be useful to navigators.   But over the years they have become common, ordinary watches, including wristwatches.   They come in all sizes, shapes, and configurations, but they […]

SELFIE: a photo taken of one’s self on a cell phone


It’s either the most innocent, innocuous thing going, or its a symbol of a narcissistic  society gone bad.   But the phenomenon of people taking pictures of themselves …and then posting them online…had gone viral.   Everyone from little children to the Pope and President Obama has gotten into it.    Famous movie stars, who certainly don’t lack […]

PHONEUR: A person, especially a pedestrian, who interacts with or engages the world mostly through a mobile phone


It’s against the law to do it in the car.   But walking along the street with a cell phone plastered to your ear is still legal.    Now there’s a word to describe such a person.  That pedestrian is a phoneur.  It’s a word that has been around since 2001, according to Word Spy, one of […]

EXPONENTIALLY: to increase at a rapid rate


It’s another one of those words that is used so casually that it sometimes says something that is really not what the word means. People will say something like “The number of customers at the shop has increased exponentially.”  The store owner is attempting to say that business is good, that what was a trickle […]

PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE [ob-suh-LES-uhns]: built with the intention of becoming out of date

planned obsolescence

One of the characteristics of a materialistic society is the need for people to continue spending money. Money needs to keep flowing.  If large ticket items are constructed to last forever there is a point where money stops flowing.   The economy tanks. Reality is that products built for consumers do not last forever.  I did […]

LOQUACIOUS: tending to talk too much or too freely

I suspect that we all know someone who tends to talk too much.   The polite and genteel word for that is to be loquacious, a seventeen century word from the Latin meaning “talkative.”    Sit com shows since the fifties (i.e. I Love Lucy ?) have featured people who just can’t stop talking.   People walk […]