JUSTICE: a system in which fairness is employed to judge each other

lady justice

Today’s word, justice, was suggested to me by one of my newest friends who just happens to be a fourth grader. She is a girl who “collects” words and has a growing and very adult vocabulary. It is fun when kids share a passion for words with me. They immediately pass to the top of […]

HATE: intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.


Over the past week I have encountered any number of people who said to me, “I hate Tom Brady.” As a fan of the New England Patriots I found these comments to be particularly painful.  I understand that the comment is probably not meant to be taken literally, but how can I hear it any […]

SCUTTLEBUTT: gossip, the latest word on something


When someone whispers in your ear that they have “the scuttlebutt” on someone or something…beware!  It is as if they had said to you, “I have the latest fabrication, lie, exaggeration, or rumor on a person.”    It is information not to be trusted. Now, sometimes  it’s the truth.   But the word scuttlebutt leans toward the […]

COUNTER-INTUITIVE: not consistent with what your intuition would lead you to expect

There are many things one sees these days that just befuddle the viewer. socks with Birkenstocks pants belted around the thighs Mercedes-Benz station wagons trucks with tires that are several yards tall Republicans with “Stop Global Warming” lapel buttons green hair pharmacies that sell tobacco products high-end restaurants with paper napkins bananas with ketchup You […]

MANDATE: spelling out the requirements of a piece of legislation

When the Department of Health and Human Services of the U.S. Government announced that it was going to require all hospitals (including Roman Catholic hospitals) to provide health coverage for employees which included contraception, it was the beginning of a fierce and passionate battle between the hospitals and the federal government.   The action exposes the […]

HUSTINGS: a political campaign

It is most unlikely that you have heard the term hustings before, but it is actually a very useful term to add to your vocabulary, especially in this election year.  It is an old English term which literally refers to the place where a potential Member of Parliament stands to make a political speech.    The […]