FOREBODING: a strong inner feeling or notion of a future misfortune, evil, etc.


“There’s just something spooky about that place.” How many times have you said that or thought it?   It’s a common expression of anticipatory fear, stimulated by a setting, a smell, a sound, or a memory.   It tells you deep, down inside that there is something almost evil at play, and the hairs on your neck […]

SMALL TERROR: random terror which doesn’t receive wide response *


I’ve become quite an admirer of David Brooks, the op-ed columnist for The New York Times.   There was a time when I thought his perspective was too slanted to the right to be of interest to me.  But over the past couple of years I have found his writing to be incisive, inspiring and well […]

UNCANNY: strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.


There are people who tend to speak in superlatives all the time.  Things are “extraordinary, absolutely perfect, incredulous.” After a while of listening to these people we tend to discount their evaluations, recognizing that everything is distorted to the magnificent…even the most mundane of items, issues, or people. One of the words often used to […]

AMYGDALA [uh-MIG-duh-luh]: two almond-shaped groups of neurons located deep within the center of the brain


I know that my banner says that this blog will focus upon words used in common language.  And today is an exception.   I doubt very much if many of you (or any of you, for that part) use the word amygdala in regular conversations.   Unless, of course, you may happen to be a psychiatrist or […]