INDENTURED: a contract by which a person, as an apprentice, is bound to service


I’ve been as confused as anyone by the difference  between a slave and an  indentured servant.  I was under the impression that the latter was just a euphemism, or gentler way of defining a slave.  To the contrary, it turns out that they are quite different terms, and their meaning has a clear distinction. Slaves […]

NAFF: inferior or in poor taste


The word  naff is clearly British, but it has its place in American English, as well. It is a term which means something (or someone)which is singularly inferior.    To be inferior is not something that is organic; it is a judgment that is imposed. I love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote at the right which makes […]

PULP FICTION: fiction dealing with lurid or sensational subjects

pulp fiction

The definitions of pulp fiction say that the term comes from the rough, cheap paper used to print the hand-sized books from the 40’s and 50’s.   But I think the term is broader than that.   It reflects the rough, cheap writing that was used in the bottom-of-the-barrel plots that were included in the books.   Oh, […]

ALT-: a fairly new prefix meaning “alternate”


When reading the Arts section of the Times I came across a term relating to a new comedy emphasis called alt-comedy.   I read on, expecting the term to be defined for me, but nothing in the following paragraphs gave me a clue as to what the word meant. It took some research, but eventually I […]

EPHILIDES [ee-FIL-eh-dees]: freckles


This past week I encountered an article in which I discovered the word ephilides…obviously a word with Greek origins…but a word I did not recognize as having ever seen it.   I looked it up and found that the online said there was no such word in their lexicon.  So I went further and found […]

DIGITAL CORRECTNESS: decision to print or read digital news as opposed to print news

digital correctness

 The term “Political Correctness” has been around for a long time.  We know that it means that a person has chosen to employ language which is sensitive to current trends in social consciousness.  For instance, one does not use racial slurs or insensitive language about women.    Gender references should always reflect both genders, such as […]