DISRESPECT: regard or treat with contempt or rudeness.


Every time I hear someone use the word disrespect as a verb I find myself cringing.   For some reason, it doesn’t sound right to me.  It turns out that disrespect as a verb has been a part of the English language since the beginning of the 17th century. In my mind, however,  disrespect is a […]

VIOLENCE: an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws


It has been a tough week in America.   Terrorist attack, factory explosions, poisoned mail, shootings, strong public words, and  countless acts of aggression throughout the nation. This all comes at a time of conflict in Congress over such issues as gun control and  immigration. The mixing of these elements has caused me to say to […]

WORDS OF VIOLENCE: words or phrases we use regularly which denote violence

With all the conversations swirling these past weeks over guns, gun control, 2nd Amendment, and violence, I have found myself more aware than ever of the number of times we use words of violence in a casual way.    I don’t think it ever occurs to us that we are using such phrases in our conversations. […]

CIVIL CULTURE: the arena outside of the family, the state, and the market where people associate to advance common interests.*

The debate about guns, violent films, and other stimuli for violence took a nice turn this morning when Morning Joe held a civil discussion about the larger issues on its daily MSNBC program.  The presence of Tom Brokaw always seems to bring a more civil sense of decorum to the show, and today was a […]

ELDRITCH [EL-drich] : weird, unearthly

I went to the theater to see Promised Land with Matt Damon this weekend.   But, as ever, it’s impossible to go to a movie without having to endure at least ten minutes of trailers prior to the sigh of relief when the words “Featured Presentation” come on the screen and we are cautioned to turn […]

DANDER: anger

“Get my dander up” is a phrase that has been around since the early 1800’s.  It came into our language through the Dutch words “op donderon” which means to burst into a sudden rage.*  You and I have seen this phrase in action.  It occurs when everything is going along just fine in a dialogue, […]