URBANE [ur-BEYNE]: sophisticated, polished, suave

urbane

It’s easy to confuse the two words:  urban and urbane. Urban  is an adjective that means something related to a city as opposed to a rural setting. Subways, skyscrapers, fleets of taxis, and lots and lots of restaurants are symbolic of an urban setting.   One might also point to a greater amount of diversity, crime, […]

SENTIENT [SEN-shuhnt]: the ability to feel, perceive, or to experience

SENTIENT

Sentient is a Latin word which moved over into English as a way of describing the phenomenon of experience which humans have apart from intelligence.  That is to say, we are able to identify the various stimuli, processes, and products of the mind which rely upon thinking, but sentience is a phenomenon which has to do […]

HERETIC: choice; one who has chosen;anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.

heretic

When we are emotional about something we may have a tendency to toss words around without paying much attention to their actual meaning.   This is especially true in such volatile areas as politics, religion, and sexual orientation.   They just come rolling out of our mouths and we move on, not realizing that we may have […]

CYBORG: a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device

CYBORG

I’ve never been a big fan of science fiction.  I’ve watched science fiction movies and tv shows…maybe only one episode of a series…but it has never been a great draw for me.  The only book I remember reading in the science fiction category that appealed to me was Steven King’s recent book, 11/22/63.   That book […]

EXONERATE: to free from guilt or blame

exonerate

Governor Cuomo  is criticized for being overly-frugal in his end-of-year pardons for just three men in New York State. Some call for Edward Snowden to receive clemency in U.S. for his “whistleblower” tactics Roman Catholic leader is released from prison after having been convicted of covering up sexual abuse cases in his Diocese. Mid-Atlantic Innocence […]

INTELLIGENCE: aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc., AND….

SPY

There is often a “drum roll, crash!” when someone from the government mentions that we have a very sophisticated intelligence system in this country.   Of course, the pundit is referring to the use of the word which would mean that we have a smart, clever, highly-sophisticated educational system which produces really, smart people.   ( I […]