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 […]

RIFF: a segment of a piece of music which is repeated using variations on the theme


The musical definition for the word riff is the origin of the word as we know it today.   Garner tells us that it is actually an older word having no connection to its current usage.*   Most dictionaries indicate that it is a shortened form of the word “refrain,” which is a repeated portion […]

DEADPAN: displaying no emotional or personal involvement


There is a cardiac physician at one of our local hospitals who has been featured in advertisements for the hospital for a couple of years now.   He looks straight into the camera as he speaks.   His voice is flat, and so is his face.  He’s not a particularly handsome man, and he knows it.   His […]

DENIGRATE [DEN-i-greyt]: to speak damagingly about someone


It seems easy for some people to put down others without a lot of angst.   It just comes naturally to them. Oh, there are comedians who rely upon denigration as their medium, but they just chalk it off as humor…no matter how hurtful or damaging it may be.  That’s a hard one to deal with, […]

HOAX [hohks] : something intended to deceive or defraud

I’ve been stewing about the Manti T’eo hoax issue for several days now.  It’s time to put my thoughts to print. This young man, a star football player at Notre Dame University, has emerged as the hottest topic for late-night stand-up comedy over his disclosure that an emotional affair he was having with a young […]

PRACTICE: to train … or … to perform after much preparation

Stand-up comedians get a lot of traction out of the idea that doctors, lawyers, or other professionals are known to “practice medicine (etc.) for years.”   The standard drum roll line is, “Wouldn’t you think they’d get it right by now?” It’s a play off the multiple meanings of the word practice, which can, indeed, mean […]