ATELOPHOBIA: the fear of imperfection or not being good enough


I read an article from the Atlantic magazine about The Power of ‘Good Enough’ by Olga Khazan.  The gist of it is that we are living in an age when “good enough” is either the latest craze, or the latest signal of doom.   In her article, Khazan points out that there are just too many […]

SECURITY: the feeling that all is under control and I am safe

new security

Linus, the little kid in the Peanuts cartoon, is connected at the hip to his security blanket. That is to say, Linus believes he cannot exist without having his “blankee” safe in hand. He drags it everywhere he goes,and when it’s among the missing, he deteriorates to being a little kid without an identity. Security […]

QUANDARY: a state of perplexity or uncertainty


Quandary is an oft-used word these days, representing the complexity of a society in which people are faced with tough decisions many times a day.  There is a yearning for some for the Amish life of simplicity, although I suspect that even the Amish would tell you that their lives are not nearly as complexity-free as […]

SAY (n.): one’s opinion in a matter under discussion

There are different categories of words in the American English language.  Some are formal, archaic, casual, slang, or even crude.   It bothers me when the use of words crosses categories.  It is like going to a concert of a city’s philharmonic orchestra and hearing them play “Hey Jude“.   It may be a good piece of […]

CREMATION: the act of incinerating the body of a deceased person

I read recently that cremation is fast becoming the method of preference in America for caring for the remains of deceased loved ones.   There are all kinds of speculations as to why this is happening, including environmental concerns, a rejection of elaborate ceremony, the expense of traditional burial, and the softening of religious inhibitions against […]

FICKLE: casually changeable

To be fickle is to be inconsistent in decision-making.  Wanting to have it both ways.  Unable to choose between options.  Constantly changing your position on something. While being fickle is something which is almost winked at these days, its Old English derivation related to treachery!  A fickle person was one who swore allegiance to one […]