REGIME/REGIMEN: easily confused nouns


It was a perfectly ordinary mistake.  I was listening to a Boston-based conversation on NPR.  The celebrity who was being interviewed was asked, “So tell me, what is your regime before a big game?” Without a hesitation the interviewee answered about his diet, his exercise, his mental exercises that he employs before each football game.  […]

JUDGMENTAL: of or denoting an attitude in which personal assessments about other people’s conduct are made

First of all…there’s a spelling issue we have to put to rest immediately.   Many of us like to spell judgement with an “e” in the middle of it.  By tradition there is no “e,” the word is spelled judgment.  Having said that, there is a new “permission” being given by some editors to spell it […]

VACCINE: preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity

My favorite NPR host pointed out today that Americans have the memory of gnats.   His point of reference was that when Ebola was rampant and we in America were concerned about what would happen if Ebola came to the USA it was the #1 news story of the day…every day.   Front page, above the fold  […]

ATTORNEYS GENERAL: the case of the disputed “s”

attorneys general

I was listening to an interview on NPR this morning which caught my attention.  It was as if someone had scratched their fingernails on a chalkboard. (For those of you who are too young to remember, chalk boards were what teachers used in the classroom before whiteboards and computer screens were invented.   The sounds sends […]

INSTANT GRATIFICATION: the need for immediate pleasure

instant gratification

Maybe you have heard of this one already:  “The Marshmallow Study.”  It refers to the social dynamics study done 40 years ago in which a small child is put into a study room.  On the table in front of the child is one marshmallow.   The child is told that she can have the one marshmallow…or…if […]

COMITY [KOM-i-tee]: civility, mutual relationship with others


It seems almost impossible to believe, but there was a time when members of the opposite parties in Congress actually liked each other.  Not tolerated each other, or agreed to meet occasionally.  They really liked each other. There are stories of leaders of Congress who had dinner together regularly, acted as Godparents for each other’s […]