FEAR: apprehension, anxiety, lack of confidence or calm


It’s pretty safe to believe that this topic, fear, is a universal.  I expect that there is no person clicking on this blog today who does not experience fear of some nature.  It may be mild fear, or it may be horror.  But I cannot imagine someone not feeling fear at various points in their […]

MERCURIAL: fickle, flighty, erratic


The vocabulary of psychology has become so familiar in this country, that we are prone to using psychological terms freely.   Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we’re way off target. I think, for instance, of the term ADHD, an authentic category of adolescent behavior which has a clinical component to it.  It can be […]

PERSEVERATE [per-SEV-uh-reyt] : to repeat something persistently or to use a redundancy


There is a difference between  being boring and perseverating.   They may both occur in a single episode, but for different reasons. There is always that person who insists upon repeating the same story, phrase, or comment over and over to the point of irritation and boredom.   It may well be that the person is shallow, […]

SNARKY: testy or irritable; short.


One of the powerful words in linguistics is onomatopoeia.    It is a great word which means a word that sounds just like it’s meaning.  The one I always go to is bubbling, as in a bubbling brook.  When you hear the term, you know exactly what it depicts.  You can almost feel the coolness of […]

MADELEINE: a small shell-shaped cake…or a unique memory of one


Madeleine may be known to you as a lovely, Victorian name assigned to a girl or woman.  It is a name which comes to us from the Hebrew language, and means “from the tower.”   It refers to the person of Mary Magdalen, reputed to have been one of Jesus’ closest friends. The person with this […]

LIMINAL [LIM-uh-nl]: threshold


It is good to get the visual of a threshold in mind in order to get to the meaning of the word liminal.  The photo to the right places it in its proper perspective.   A threshold is an entry way that is elevated from the plane.  You have to step up to enter through the […]