MARIJUANA: the dried leaves and female flowers of the hemp plant


It seems as if there are more inches of newsprint given over to the issue of the legalization of marijuana these days than to the civil war in Syria, the Russian threats to Ukraine, or the various tragedies around the world.   It is the “darling” topic of the media. I suppose it all “took off” […]

REPORTAGE [rep-awr-TAHZH]: a written report of an act, based upon actual witnessing or research

It is possible to pronounce reportage as [ri-PAWR-tij], but I love the way the more French pronunciation sounds, so I prefer [rep-awr-TAHZH], with the accent on last syllable.   It is a 19th century word, obviously from the French language.   Its meaning is simple:  it means to report something, usually in writing. I mention this word […]

SUSTAINABILITY: the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance*

The concept of sustainability revolves around the idea that elements of our environment and our attempt to live in a healthy way in this environment require an understanding of depletion and restoration.   If those elements, including food, are to be available to this and future generations care must be taken to avoid depleting the supply […]

SOUSVEILLANCE: ordinary citizens keeping recorded track of officials, instead of the other way around.

If you pay attention carefully, you’ll realize that the word sousveillance is a reversal of a more familiar word, surveillance.   Surveillance is a term originating in the French language which uses the prefix, sur, meaning above.   Veillance, the main body of the word means to watch.   Therefore, the meaning of surveillance is to “watch over.”   […]


In many ways I will miss seeing Terry Francona, who has been fired as Manager of the Boston Red Sox.   He is personable, entertaining, and competent in many ways.   But one thing I won’t miss is the frequency of television coverage of his chewing habit and the need to expectorate multiple times a minute.  Terry […]