CAN’T: cannot; unable to accomplish something


Hanging on the door of my physical therapy setting is a sign that says can’t. But like this illustration, there’s a cancel line drawn through it.   The message is clear. The message is clear.   The word can’t is not only discouraged at LePre Physical Therapy…it is forbidden.  It is so easy when directed to undertake […]

PROSCRIPTIVE: denunciation, prohibition, or exclusion

proscriptive 2

It’s easy to confuse the words prescriptive and proscriptive. The odd thing is that they are just the opposite of each other. If there is a way of overcoming something, such as a writer’s block, or an inability to get the answer to a difficult question, someone may suggest a way that will help you […]

BOOK IT: to depart quickly

book it

Just to prove that American English is alive and growing, let’s look at a term today that just arrived on the scene in the 70’s.   Book it is characterized in the dictionaries as a “student term,” meaning that it derives from student life and has most of its use and meaning in the context of […]

INTERDEPENDENCE: mutually reliant on each other


Sometimes we get so engaged with a concept that we allow it to become overwhelming.  That is the case in America, I believe , with a limited and dangerous understanding of the word independence.   Throughout the history of this country we have waved the banner of independence, based upon our understanding of what it meant […]

COUNTER-INTUITIVE: not agreeing with what seems right or natural


Our minds are programmed in such a way that when we click on a topic or subject we expect a specific response to appear. For instance, if we think “grandmother” we expect an image of our grandmother to appear in our mind.  If, however, an image of our first dog appears, it is counter-intuitive.   That’s […]