AUGUR (verb): forecast or foretell

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Augur is one of those words that I can easily confuse with its homonym auger.  I can remember the horrible day when I heard the word auger for the first time.  A little girl in my hometown was missing.  Our Boy Scout troop joined hundreds of volunteers to search for her.  A rescue team decided to […]

BIBLIOMANCY [BIB-lee-oh-man-see]: the act of opening a book at random and seeking knowledge at random on the page revealed


People have been fascinated with the future for many centuries.  At some point in the past humans began to understand that there was such a thing as the future.  After all,it is a complex thought, and it took the human brain some level of development before such a complex idea could take shape. But once […]

INAUGURATE : to make a formal beginning of; initiate; commence; begin:

This won’t be a long post.   It doesn’t require a lot of words. Today Barack Obama takes the oath of office to begin his second term as President of the United States.   It is not as historically significant as it was four years ago when he was the first African-American to take the oath.  But […]

PORTEND: to foretell or foreshadow

In this Advent season the story of the foreshadowing of the birth of the Messiah is prominent.  From the earliest of Hebrew scriptures to the accounts of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth there is acknowledgement of the accounts which foretell that a Messiah will come who will initiate a new era for humankind. A […]

REGRESSION: the act of going back to a previous place or state; return or reversion. (

To progress is to move forward. How many times in the past months have we heard the conversation about the need for our country to progress out of this deep recession, out of a world view which casts the US as angry and dangerous, out of a mindset that marginalizes segments of our population? Those […]