GIZMO: unspecified item, a “thing”


More often than not, the use of the word gizmo is the result of having stumbled across something for which there is no name, or something whose name you have forgotten.  How often, in the middle of a presentation or class, has the teacher pointed to something which the student is supposed to touch, turn […]

SCAM: a con game , especially for making a quick profit; swindle.


It looked like any other email I might receive, except for one thing.  It was from a friend and neighbor I had not seen or heard from in over a decade.  And, although she was a friend, our friendship was not a close, personal one of the kind that would include the exchange of money. […]

UNCANNY: strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.


There are people who tend to speak in superlatives all the time.  Things are “extraordinary, absolutely perfect, incredulous.” After a while of listening to these people we tend to discount their evaluations, recognizing that everything is distorted to the magnificent…even the most mundane of items, issues, or people. One of the words often used to […]

NEXUS: a place of connection


The important thing to remember about the word nexus is that it is a location.  It is not so much a “what” as it is a “where.” A nexus is a place where things connect.  If you think of wires, connections, plugs, cords, sockets, etc., you are in the right place to understand the meaning […]

TAXONOMY: the science or technique of classification.


One way to corral and understand complex systems is to break them down into categories which make sense.   For instance, a company that markets a specific product may want to identify the various categories of customers: everyday customers infrequent customers one-time customers special orders In doing this, the marketing techniques employed to reach these various […]

GLITCH: a defect, malfunction or error that interrupts a plan


We’ve all heard all that we need to hear about the glitches in the registration process for the Affordable Care Act.  There is no question that some serious problems caused the system to malfunction, bringing about severe criticism of the administration for failure to test the system appropriately before going on line.  To the administration’s […]