CREMATE [KREE-meyt]: to reduce a dead body to ashes by fire


A question which is before people as they age is their desire regarding the care of their body after death.   Some would say it’s a ghoulish conversation, but for family members who have to make decisions, it’s a very practical matter.  If death is sudden, without any indication of its imminence, and there is no […]

AXIOMATIC [ak-see-uh-MAT-ik] : obvious, self-evident


It is amusing sometimes to be in the middle of a conversation when someone says something that is so obvious, so clearly self-evident, that it stuns those listening.  Or it may come in the midst of an article, or even something as profound as a dissertation or a scholarly paper of some kind.  Everything is […]

APROPOS [ap-ruh-POH]: fitting, appropropriate, related to


The word apropos has a special meaning.   It refers to something as being fitting (unlike the suit in the picture to the right!) and appropriate.  It is a 17th century French word meaning “to the purpose.”  That is to say, it identifies some object, thought, or image as being designed or articulated in a way […]

CONNECTION: a rapidly-changing concept having to do with interaction with another person

When younger people say that they “connected” with someone over the weekend they could mean anything from having seen somebody and waved to them to having a sexual encounter with another person.  It is a word that requires a context, and younger people seem to have an ability to identify context in order to ascribe […]

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 […]