URBAN LEGEND: a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often has elements of humor, moralizing, or horror

urban legend

Is there a city in this country where it has not been reported that there are alligators in the sewer system?  People in all the cities will swear on a Bible that they have seen them.  And I suppose that there is probably at least one city in the U.S. where it is true.   I […]

PHUBBING: snubbing (ignoring) someone on the phone


Participating in social media which employs a cellphone requires some personal decisions on the part of users.  It is not a simple thing to establish a relationship with others over the cellphone without first determining just how that phone will impact upon one’s life. Obviously, there are some people who allow the cellphone to dominate […]

LOOPHOLE: an opening or aperture.


It’s almost boring to find that the real meaning for the term loophole has to do with holes in the wall of a castle wall, through which shots (or arrows) can be fired at the enemy.  Ho-hum. It is a word from 16th century England which means “arrow slit.”  That is what I have described […]

OFF THE RECORD: is it still possible in this day and age?

off the record

  The term “Off the Record” has to be traced to Latin, where the word recordari means to preserve a note, or to recollect.  But from there we have to go to the modern practice of journalism, where the complete term means to gain information from someone with a promise that it won’t be published.  […]

VERISIMILITUDE [ver-uh-si-MIL-i-tood]: having the appearance of truth or reality


It is amazing to look at pieces of art which are painted in the realistic mode.   It is almost impossible to distinguish them from photography at times.   The goose painting I have used as today’s illustration is a perfect example.  When I first saw it I assumed it was a photo.  But Guido Daniele, the […]

OPINE [oh-PAHYN]: the forming of judgment or stating an opinion


The encouraging of people to express an opinion carries a risk with it.   It might just be that the opinion expressed is troublesome…and may actually be counter to the very point that you are trying to make.   But if you are truthful that you are really looking for diverse opinions, you are safe in opening […]