Word of the Day: qui vive

Word of the Day: qui vive

Collie on alert
Source: corydoncollies.co.uk/qui_vive.html

qui vive (noun) kee-VEEV

Definition

: alert, lookout — used in the phrase on the qui vive

Examples

“All right. Lieutenant Howard, go see how the artillery wagons are managing, and on the way tell Major Mason that I need him again. Stay on the qui vive; you may find evidence of liquor.” — William T. Vollmann, The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War, 2015

“Pasadena Heritage staged its Colorado Street Bridge Party July 16, and Police Chief Phillip Sanchez was clearly on the qui vive at the entrance to the bridge.” — Patt Diroll, The Pasadena Star News, 24 July 2016

Did You Know?

When a sentinel guarding a French castle in days of yore cried, “Qui vive?,” your life depended upon your answer. The question the sentinel was asking was “Long live who?” The correct answer was usually something like “Long live the king!” Visitors not answering the question this way were regarded as suspect, and so to be “on the qui vive” meant to be on the alert or lookout, and qui vive came to mean “alert” or “lookout” soon afterward. Nowadays, the term is most often used in the phrase “on the qui vive,” meaning “on the lookout.”

My Take

Alright. Today’s word I want to say is stupid. It’s not, of course, but I’d like to think it. I know I will never use it. Yet, it does have a place in history. If I ever write a historical novel, then perhaps, I will use it.

From the examples, you will note contemporary uses of the word, and yet, I can’t seem to bring it about to use it. If I want to use a term to mean alert or lookout, I’ll use the words. Perhaps it is used in other parts of the world with more frequency. That’s okay too.

Adèle Exarchopoulos
Source: adele-exacharchopoulos-source.e-monsite.com

Thinking about the term, I came up with some scenarios that would be an appropriate usage of the term. For example, a city deploys additional security due to a terrorist alert, such as what recently occurred in Los Angeles California at the Universal Studios subway station. An event that is, unfortunately, all too common these days. I was also reminded of a woman on alert walking down a dark street or riding a crowded subway car. If the main character, Avril, in my new book were a bit more alert, perhaps she would have escaped her introduction to the despicable world of human trafficking. Be sure to look for this exciting new erotic thriller due out very soon.

In researching the word, I did find a field hockey club using the word as their team name. I also found a movie entitled ‘Qui Vive.’ I never heard of it of course, but what do I know. I found several pieces of artwork using the title, one of which I have included in this post as my twitter bonus picture. Finally, I did find a picture of a border collie. From its pose, it reminded me of my own collies our family bred growing up. When they alerted to something of interest, you knew the dog was on the qui vive.

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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My Quandary

My Quandary

The Trafficking Consortium Front Book Cover
Copyright (c) Richard Verry 2016

I’ve sat here, at my desk, or messing around the house trying to decide on what to write today. It’s not the Word of the Day. I can do that. It’s the My Take section that takes so much time. And right now, time is a commodity that is very expensive.

So, I’m going to slow down on the Word of the Day for the rest of the holidays. I’ll publish them, but as time allows or an interesting word captures my interest.

Why am I in a quandary? I’m working hard to put to bed my latest novel ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ Between getting ready for the holidays, which for me has already started, working with the editor to clean up my manuscript, cover design, website work, and all things related to indie publishing, it’s just a lot to deal with, and I hope you don’t mind the intermittent Words of the Day. It’s good to do, but the novel is so much more fun.

Till next time, this Richard Verry, getting back to work.

 

Word of the Day: bamboozle

Word of the Day: bamboozle

Bamboozle
Source: imagict.com

Bamboozle (verb) bam-BOO-zul

Definition

1 : to deceive by underhanded methods : dupe, hoodwink

2 : to confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely

Examples

“Some consumers are so bamboozled by slick sales talk that they pay extra for amazingly bad deals. Just one example, a $49.99, four-year service plan on a DVD player that sells for $39.99.” — Mike McClintock, The Chicago Tribune, 13 Feb. 2009

“We agree with those who filed the suits challenging the wording of the ballot question. We believe it is deceitful—and deliberately so, designed to bamboozle voters into thinking they are voting on a minor issue that simply codifies existing law instead of adding five years to a judge’s term.” — The Philadelphia Daily News, 10 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In 1710, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote an article on “the continual Corruption of our English Tongue” in which he complained of “the Choice of certain Words invented by some pretty Fellows.” Among the inventions Swift disliked were bamboozle, bubble(a dupe), put (a fool), and sham. (Perhaps he objected to the use of sham as a verb; he himself had used the adjective meaning “false” a couple of years previously.) What all these words appear to have in common is a connection to the underworld as jargon of criminals. Other than that, the origin of bamboozle remains a mystery, but the over-300-year-old word has clearly defied Swift’s assertion that “All new affected Modes of Speech . . . are the first perishing Parts in any Language.”

My Take

Well, there are no shortages of images to go with today’s word. So, I picked a few that I thought were appropriate and I hope you do too.

Bamboozled cat
Source: wordnik.com/words/bamboozle

To me, though I don’t use the bamboozle too much, the meaning is obvious. Is it with you?

To deceive, dupe, hoodwink, confuse, frustrate or throw off completely. I probably could think of another pocketful of synonyms for the term, but I believe you get the message.

The image I found most enjoyable was the wall appliqué of a tree scene with dozens of birds sitting on the branches. Nice, but it was the dog staring at the wall, bamboozled by the birds beyond its reach. I can imagine how many hours the dog spent trying to catch one. I must be honest, when I first saw this image, I thought it was a cat, which works even better.

Government bamboozling
Source: trinbagoviews.com

Another image I found most enjoyable was the cartoon of the honest government worker. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what country you call home, the sentiment fits. Ain’t it a shame?

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: salient

Word of the Day: salient

Salient Features
Source: huemarcom.com

Salient (adjective) SAIL-yunt

Definition

1 : moving by leaps or springs : jumping

2 : jetting upward

3 : standing out conspicuously : prominent; especially : of notable significance

Examples

The speech was filled with so much twisted rhetoric that it was hard to identify any salient points.

“Among the projects: … an $18 million makeover of Freedom Hall, substantial new meeting and storage space, a new ballroom and a new $70 million exhibit hall…. Those were the salient recommendations of a new master plan for the Kentucky Exposition Center….” — Sheldon Shafer, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), 28 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Salient first popped up in English in the 16th century as a term of heraldry meaning “rampant but leaning forward as if leaping.” By the mid-17th century, it had leaped into more general use in the senses of “moving by leaps or springs” or “spouting forth.” Those senses aren’t too much of a jump from the word’s parent, the Latin verb salire, which means “to leap.” Salire also occurs in the etymologies of some other English words, including somersault and sally, as well as Salientia, the name for an order of amphibians that includes frogs, toads, and other notable jumpers. Today, salient is usually used to describe things that are physically prominent (such as a salient nose) or that stand out figuratively (such as the salient features of a painting or the salient points in an argument).

My Take

Salient outside battle
Source: http://taralen.deviantart.com/

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I admit it. I am wrong. I thought I knew the meaning to today’s word. I’ve known the term for many years, but I guess I never understood it. I must have heard it used in conversation somewhere and distorted its meaning in my head.

So, to fix my brain, I need to use it frequently, in the correct context. Let’s begin.

In sports, be it American Football, Futbol (or Soccer as it is known in the U.S.), Rugby, Field Hockey, Water Polo–you get the idea, the team moving the ball, down the field for a score is the salient team. In checkers, the act of jumping or leaping over your opponent’s checker is performing the salient move, removing a piece in the process. A monochrome holiday decoration that has a single brightly colored ornament contrasting the rest is a salient adornment. The person standing out in the crowd is salient.

Am I getting it right? Basically, as I understand the word, it’s akin to a brain teaser “What is different from all the rest?” or “Who or what is advancing better than another?”

I believe in uniqueness, conspicuousness, prominence, and difference. I write stories different from all the rest. Most of them are dark revelations of the human condition. They are meant to make one think, to question. “Could this really happen to the human race?” and “Could this happen to me?” and “OMG, this could happen to my child or me?”

Yes, I tend to write what many call ‘Dark Erotica.’ I don’t see my Mona Bendarova books that way but for certain, ‘Her Client’ and ‘The Breakup’ are.

Trafficking In Women
Source: epthinktank.eu

My new one, coming out in the next few weeks is also in that category. The title is tentatively called ‘Trafficking Consortium’ though that is likely to change in the next couple of weeks when the book goes to publication. The premise being that just by going to your doctor for an annual physical, brings you to the attention of an international human trafficking ring and puts into motion a plan to sell you into human slavery. Sure, there are many stories, real and fiction, over the centuries of stealing people and selling them into bondage. Mine is a new take, and if you like reading these kinds of stories, I believe you will enjoy this one.

Barbie with human proportions
Source: slideshare.net/artista33

As usual, I found many images related to today’s term. Products and companies love the concept of trying to stand out from the crowd. Why not? I try to get my books to stand out among the plethora of books out there. Frequent followers of the Word of the Day will know that I look for unique images. Today, I found artwork and a digital representation of what needs to change to make the Barbie doll, ™Mattel, more realistic and proportional to a real human being.

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

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Word of the Day: ziggurat

Word of the Day: ziggurat

The Great Ziggurat of Ur
Source: ancient-origins.net

Ziggurat (noun) ZIG-uh-rat

Definition

: an ancient Mesopotamian temple tower consisting of a lofty pyramidal structure built in successive stages with outside staircases and a shrine at the top; also : a structure or object of similar form

Examples

“The building itself is certainly distinctive: The bronze-meshed ziggurat moves upwards toward the sky and into the light.” — Lisa Benton-Short, GWToday (gwtoday.gwu.edu, George Washington University), 10 Oct. 2016

“The opulence remains in Barbara de Limburg’s expansive sets, but the dramatic point is the contrast of the family’s poverty with the consumerist rapacity suggested by the Witch’s lair—not the usual gumdrop-bedecked gingerbread house but a towering ziggurat of brightly packaged junk food….” — Gavin Borchart, The Seattle Weekly, 19 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

French professor of archaeology François Lenormant spent a great deal of time poring over ancient Assyrian texts. In those cuneiform inscriptions, he recognized a new language, now known as Akkadian, which proved valuable to the understanding of ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Through his studies, he became familiar with the Akkadian word for the towering Mesopotamian temples: ziqqurratu. In 1877 he came out with Chaldean Magic, a scholarly exposition on the mythology of the Chaldeans, an ancient people who lived in what is now Iraq. In his work, which was immediately translated into English, he introduced the word ziggurat to the modern world in his description of the ziggurat of the Iraqi palace of Khorsabad.

My Take

LEGO SUMERIAN ZIGGURAT
Source: playwelltek.wordpress.com

Today’s word is a new one for me. Ziggurat. It is a building of ancient design, with level stacked upon level and stairs on the outside leading up to the top.

There were no shortages of images of various ziggurats. I chose two that I found interesting. The one built of Legos, well that’s just cool.

What I found interesting was the building style is found all around the world, built by cultures that never intersected with each other. How is that possible?

If you believe what I believe and have believed since I was a youngling, then there had to be an external influence that interacted with the various groups of humans. Where we visited or even seeded on this planet by extraterrestrials? I believe it. The universe is too grand to think that we humans are alone in the universe.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: muckrake

Word of the Day: muckrake

26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
Source: history.com

Muckrake (verb) MUCK-rayk

Definition

: to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business

Examples

Arn is an aggressive reporter, never afraid to ask difficult questions, hound evasive sources, or muckrake when things appear suspect.

“From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan’s Monthly in the 1960s and ’70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers …, Mr. [Warren] Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good.” — Kevin Fagan, The San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Aug. 2016

Did You Know?

The noun muckrake (literally, a rake for muck, i.e., manure) rose out of the dung heap and into the realm of literary metaphor in 1684. That’s when John Bunyan used it in Pilgrim’s Progress to represent man’s preoccupation with earthly things. “The Man with the Muckrake,” he wrote, “could look no way but downward.” In a 1906 speech, President Teddy Roosevelt recalled Bunyan’s words while railing against journalists he thought focused too much on exposing corruption in business and government. Roosevelt called them “the men with the muck-rakes” and implied that they needed to learn “when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward.” Investigative reporters weren’t insulted; they adopted the term muckraker as a badge of honor. And soon English speakers were using the verb muckrake for the practice of exposing misconduct.

Muckrackers
Source: unknown

My Take

Muckrake is a term that I rarely use but understand its meaning. At least I thought I did…till now. I learned that it is an actual tool or the act of raking up muck. Done that often enough and it makes sense. Growing up in the part of the country I did, I came to know it as a derogatory slang term for someone who digs up dirt on other people, just to be mean and hurt them. That’s not quite accurate.

What I didn’t know, was that, in a way, I was right. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term during the turn of the twentieth century. Fair enough. What I didn’t know was that he used it for political gains, to target his opponents by encouraging everyone to be a muckraker, on the premise that if his opponents short-givings were exposed, it would help advance his political career. Well, I can’t blame him for that.

Muckraking standards of journalism
Source: weebly.com/standards-of-journalism

However, I wonder what our country would be like if we left well enough alone. Up until after the Kennedy era, journalists respected the privacy of sitting officials, allowing them to have their flings, affairs and such, without shouting from the mountain tops their private affairs. Granted, if it involved their public life, then by all means, it was fair game. Private lives remained…private.

In today’s world, the private lives of anyone are fair game to be broadcast around the world, via social media, actual journalism or the pretend journalist outlets, such as the nightly news et.all. If you want to hide something, of if you have a skeleton in your closet, sooner or later, it’s going to come out.

To me, the only way that it won’t matter is if you already lead a life where you, one, don’t care who finds out your inner most secrets, and two, lead a life of an open book. There once was a time where I cared whether someone figured out my inner most secrets. Not anymore. Because one, I don’t care whether you like it or not, and two, ask me anything. I’ll tell you the truth. Just don’t ask me anything you really don’t want the answer. I will tell you and then refer you to number one.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: vulpine

Word of the Day: vulpine

Fox in winterVulpine (adjective) VUL-pine

Definition

1 : of, relating to, or resembling a fox

2 : foxy, crafty

Examples

“There is something Gatsby-esque about the whole story. [Bernie] Madoff is a clear proxy for Meyer Wolfsheim, the vulpine, self-satisfied criminal seducer.” — Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 12 Jan. 2009

“Flashing a vulpine grin, he’s not a typical hunk—but like Casanova, a maestro of stylish manners and clever entrapment, an incorrigible cad proud of his powers of improvisational manipulation.” — Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, 30 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In Walden (1854), Henry David Thoreau described foxes crying out “raggedly and demoniacally” as they hunted through the winter forest, and he wrote, “Sometimes one came near to my window, attracted by my light, barked a vulpine curse at me, and then retreated.” Thoreau’s was far from the first use of vulpine; English writers have been applying that adjective to the foxlike or crafty since at least the 15th century, and the Latin parent of our term, vulpinus (from the noun vulpes, meaning “fox”), was around long before that.

Diane Vulpine reclining
Source: flickr.com/photos/anelyu/
photograph by Andrea Vittori

My Take

I never knew that there was a word related to Fox. Vulpine resembles a fox or is someone or something that is foxy or crafty. I never knew. So, I did some digging on the term ‘Vulpine’ and found many relates.

There are no shortages of items, products, media outlets, people or things that use the word ‘Vulpine’ or it’s related word, ‘Fox’. Trimming the gauntlet of images, I picked a few that I hope you’ll like or just brings back memories.

20th Century Fox LogoFor me, it started with 20th Century Fox, a movie studio, now known as Fox Entertainment Group. Over the years, I’ve watched many a film that they produced. Then, of course, there are the FOX companies owned by Rubert Murdock that include CNN and Fox News. Crafty, eh?

 

Vulpine Studios
Source: vulpine-studios.com

I found an art studio by the name of Vulpine Studios. I browsed their site. They appear to focus on artwork representing humans as foxes. Or is that the other way around? I don’t know, but I liked it.

I also found several other artists who compositions focused on foxes, such as the piece I found called ‘Vulpine Love’ by Shivita.

Vulpine Love by Shivita
Source: shivita.deviantart.com

A very beautiful piece of work, if I do say so myself.

I also stumbled across several models who either use the word Vulpine or Fox in their name. Since I like tattoos on women and redheads, I focused on Diane Vulpine, Cervana Fox, and Rebecca Crow. All foxy babes to me.

Fox Magazine Cover
Source: unknown

Then, back in the day, I enjoyed reading Fox Magazine, an adult magazine big on pictures, light on articles. Yep, I read it for the pictures. So sue me.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: wane

Word of the Day: wane

Waning moon phases
Source: kissesandchaos.com

Wane (verb) WAYN

Definition

1 : to decrease in size, extent, or degree

2 : to fall gradually from power, prosperity, or influence

Synonyms

abate; atrophy; decrease; die down; die out; dim; dwindle; ebb; fade; peter out; shrink; slacken; subside; taper off; weaken; wither

Antonyms

brighten; develop; enhance; enlarge; expand; extend; grow; increase; rise; strengthen

Examples

“Last year, the station offered fans the chance to buy the CD online for the first time and also sold it in Target stores as usual. But unlike previous years, the limited-run compilation didn’t sell out immediately, suggesting its popularity may be waning.” — Ross Raihala, The Pioneer Press (TwinCities.com), 14 Oct. 2016

“And as public and political interest in space exploration waxed and waned over the following decades, the funding for the space program did too.” — Dianna Wray, The Houston Press, 26 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

“Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour / Draws on apace four happy days bring in / Another moon: But oh, methinks how slow / This old moon wanes!” So Theseus describes his eagerness for his wedding night in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As illustrated by Theseus’ words, wane is a word often called upon to describe the seeming decrease in size of the moon in the later phases of the lunar cycle. The traditional opposite of wane is wax, a once common but now infrequently used synonym of grow. Wane and wax have been partnered in reference to the moon since the Middle Ages.

My Take

I learned about the word ‘Wane’ when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I had joined the scouts, and I studied the phases of the moon. By then, I was already captivated by astronomical events, so this was an excellent introduction to something that fascinated me.

Waning Phases of the Moon
Source: jasondemakis.com

I came to understand that the act of becoming a full moon was called waxing while the period after the full moon was called waning. I will admit since I didn’t make astronomy my career choice, as an adult, I often confused the two terms. I hope with today’s word; I can finally keep them straight. Waxing is for growing, and Waning is for receding. Cool! Now that I got that straight, I can rest easy. I hope. 😉

Lumber Wane
Source: baltimorebrickbybrick.com

I also learned a different usage for the word. M-W calls it a verb but I found a noun form of the word. If you have worked with lumber, especially framing lumber, I guarantee you have seen this. Check out the picture because it would take a thousand words for me to describe what is easily seen in the image. I always wondered if there was a name for that. Now I know. The inverse of ‘wane’ in lumber is called ‘want’. I learned something new! Whoo hoo!

Penthouse June 1994 cover Taylor Wane
Source unknown

I also thought of other uses, such as the stock market when it’s on a downswing or waning market. How many things do you know that wane? An entertainer’s career could be waning in popularity. A political party could be waning in influence. It doesn’t matter who, I don’t spill names. There are so many ways to use it.

Wane Veluz
Source: masrapidoblog.wordpress.com

I found at least three people who use the word as part of their name. Taylor Wane is an adult model with huge fake boobs. Ugh! I hate basketball boobs. I also found an actress by the name of Niki Wane who appeared in the 1973 film ‘Bamboo House of Dolls’. I presume it’s an adult film, but I didn’t look into it. Then there is Wane Veluz who is a product advertising model.

In my opinion, wane is a versatile word, and I’m going to look for a way to use it more often. What do you think?

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a screen grab of a naked Niki Wane from the movie.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: thaumaturgy

Word of the Day: thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy
Source: suggest-keywords.com

Thaumaturgy (noun) THAW-muh-ter-jee

Definition

: the performance of miracles; specifically : magic

Examples

“The place is still a favourite pilgrimage, but there seems to be some doubt as to which Saint John has chosen it as the scene of his posthumous thaumaturgy; for, according to a local guide-book, it is equally frequented on the feasts of the Baptist and of the Evangelist.” — Edith Wharton, Italian Backgrounds, 1905

“Indeed, so keen was the horror at the hysteria that had taken hold in Salem that the mere mention of the place was sufficient to cool any passions that looked in danger of spiraling into outmoded and dangerous thaumaturgy.” — Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 16 Dec. 2011

Did You Know?

The magic of thaumaturgy is miraculous. The word, from a Greek word meaning “miracle working,” is applicable to any performance of miracles, especially by incantation. It can also be used of things that merely seem miraculous and unexplainable, like the thaumaturgy of a motion picture’s illusions (aka “movie magic”), or the thaumaturgy at work in an athletic team’s “miracle” comeback. In addition to thaumaturgy, we also have thaumaturge and thaumaturgist, both of which mean “a performer of miracles” or “a magician,” and the adjective thaumaturgic, meaning “performing miracles” or “of, relating to, or dependent on thaumaturgy.”

Tremere by radiationboyy
Source: radiationboyy

My Take

I must admit, I don’t know much about Thaumaturgy. However, I do believe that it is possible to perform magic (or miracles). Not that I can do it, mind you. I just believe there are people all around the world who have abilities above and beyond what the rest of us can do. I’m not saying that they are supernatural, just different, unique. Somedays, I wish I had some of those abilities to make life just a bit more interesting.

I do read novels and stories on the subject, most notably, the ‘Thaumatology Books’ by Niall Teasdale. I read these three years ago, and I was spellbound (pun intended). I am a fast reader, and I read all eleven books in a span of just two months. What can I tell you, I was captivated by the stories. I then moved on the ‘Hollows Books’ by Kim Harrison, and I did the same thing to her books. That is, I read the entire series in just a couple of months. I both cases, I started following the authors, and as they published new works, I just had to read them. Right now, I’ve just started the ‘Witch Detectives’ books by Eve Paludan. In the course of just a couple of days, I finished book 1 and moved on to book two.

It’s taking me longer to read novels lately, as I am writing my own books, I am spending more time writing than I do reading. Frankly, it’s a good thing. If you’re interested in novels of this sort, please feel free to check these authors out. Their books are available on Amazon.com. I’ve provided the links to their author pages for your convenience.

Dark Thaumaturgy
Source: snakepit.wikidot.com

Back to thaumaturgy. while I believe in magic, I also believe that much that we might call magic is science that most of us just don’t understand. Using a cell phone to talk to someone on the other side of the world could be magic to one who has never seen or heard of a cell phone. Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry) predicted them back in 1966, and by the 1990’s, the first flip phones appeared. Magic then, science today.

When I search for imagery to go with this article, I knew I would find thousands. What I found annoying was that most of them are depictions of the dark arts. Who says they have to be dark? The books I referenced above described a world balancing the two. Just as I believe, there can’t be light without dark, a hero without a villain, there has to be good magic as well as bad.

What do you think?

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: soporific

Word of the Day: soporific

Classroom sleeping
Source: flashcardmonkey.com

Soporific (adjective) sah-puh-RIFF-ik

Definition

1 a : causing or tending to cause sleep

b : tending to dull awareness or alertness

2 : of, relating to, or marked by sleepiness or lethargy

Examples

The soporific effects of the stuffy classroom and the lecturer’s droning voice left more than one student fighting to stay awake.

“The prose sparkles at every turn, but that’s not to say it’s without flaws. Some entire chapters … struck me as wholly soporific.” — Andrew Ervin, The Washington Post, 13 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

“It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific.’ I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a rabbit.” In The Tale of the Flopsy Bunniesby Beatrix Potter, the children of Benjamin Bunny were very nearly done in by Mr. McGregor because they ate soporific lettuces that put them into a deep sleep. Their near fate can help you recall the history of soporific. The term traces to the Latin noun sopor, which means “deep sleep.” (That root is related to somnus, the Latin word for sleep and the name of the Roman god of sleep.) French speakers used sopor as the basis of soporifique, which was probably the model for the English soporific.

Soporific
Source: flashcardmonkey.com

My Take

I hope that my posts, and especially, the ‘Word of the Day’ are not soporific. I do try to make this section interesting. What do you think? Am I succeeding or making you fall asleep or delete these without reading them?

Girl Sleeping during Exam
Source: schellesenglish07.blogspot.com

I got started on these because I was looking for a way to give my followers something they liked while dealing with a vendor who was having difficulty distributing my posts. There were extended periods in August and September where, despite my best efforts, the posts remained undistributed to my social sites and my email followers. I needed something quick and easy to publish during the days of trouble.

For the most part, those problems are resolved, except for my email distributions. I’ve figured out, and communicated to the vendor, that during periods of high activity on the vendor’s part, my posts are caught up in some sort of ‘race’ condition between their email servers.

Emily Browning - Sleeping Beauty 2011
Source: masuema6751

But I digress. Soporific is the topic. I quickly found suitable images, including the sexy bonus picture that I almost always include for those that share the posts via Twitter. If you want to see it, please share the post from my page and click any of the Twitter buttons displayed.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: cabbage

Word of the Day: cabbage

I want my secretary back
Source: cartoonstock.com

Cabbage (verb) KAB-ij

Definition

: steal, filch

Examples

“When these ruffians were in a relatively mild mood they were content to chase us off the diamond, but when their glands were flowing freely they also cabbaged our bats, balls and gloves.” — H. L. Mencken, Happy Days, 1940

“More and more people are trying to get their ‘news’ free from online sources, unreliable as some of these fly-by-night wanna-bes are. In truth, the information is usually cabbaged from the website (or the print edition) of the local paper.” — Kim Poindexter, The Tahlequah (Oklahoma) Daily Press, 24 Aug. 2015

Did You Know?

Does the “filching” meaning of cabbage bring to mind an image of thieves sneaking out of farm fields with armloads of pilfered produce? If so, you’re in for a surprise. Today’s featured word has nothing to do with the leafy vegetable. It originally referred to the practice among tailors of pocketing part of the cloth given to them to make garments. The verb was cut from the same cloth as an older British noun cabbage, which meant “pieces of cloth left in cutting out garments and traditionally kept by tailors as perquisites.” Both of those ethically questionable cabbages probably derived from cabas, the Middle French word for “cheating or theft.” The cabbage found in coleslaw, on the other hand, comes from Middle English caboche, which meant “head.”

Pilfer wallet
Source: adigrahito.blogspot.com

My Take

Today’s word is a common word. The definition supplied by M-W is not. Besides the term for the vegetable, it also means to steal, pilfer, or filch.

To me, it’s an obviously a British usage of the word though the examples supplied come from American sources. I submit, that if any ordinary American from all classes, educations, or social standings would never associate the word ‘Cabbage’ to mean steal, etc.

Prostitute Cash
Source: Lisa S./Shutterstock

In the U.S., we use the term in two ways. One, the vegetable used to make coleslaw. The second is a slang term for money or cash. i.e. “Hey there, how much cabbage was in the take last night?” I haven’t heard it a lot lately, I must admit. I usually hear it older movies, and commonly used between gangsters, hookers, or even in shop owners chatting over coffee.

Stealing my milk
Source: unknown

I don’t know anyone in my social circles who would use the term to steal. Do you?

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: vicissitude

Word of the Day: vicissitude

Vicissitude
Source: dictionary.com

Vicissitude (noun) vuh-SISS-uh-tood

Definition

1 : the quality or state of being changeable : mutability

2 a : a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance : a fluctuation of state or condition

b : a difficulty or hardship usually beyond one’s control

Examples

“The vicissitudes of life strike us all. But when life gets difficult for the poor, economically or emotionally, or most often both at once, it can pitch them into complete chaos.” — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 Aug. 2016

“A good coach on tour is at once a friend and a taskmaster, a psychologist and an emotional buffer against the vicissitudes of competing at the highest level of the game.” — Geoff Macdonald, The New York Times, 1 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

“Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better,” wrote British theologian Richard Hooker in the 16th century. That observation may shed some light on vicissitude, a word that can refer simply to the fact of change, or to an instance of it, but that often refers specifically to hardship or difficulty brought about by change. To survive “the vicissitudes of life” is thus to survive life’s ups and downs, with special emphasis on the downs. Vicissitude is a descendant of the Latin noun vicis, meaning “change” or “alternation,” and it has been a part of the English language since the 16th century. In contemporary usage, it most often occurs in the plural.

REPORTER LOSES HER SHIRT DURING LIVE BROADCAST
Source: YouTube

My Take

I feel like I’m in a state of a difficulty or hardship beyond my control. So, today’s word is quite appropriate. The aftereffects of my concussion still linger and trying to get better is … well, let’s just say problematic. Must I be my own advocate for a work related injury?

Anyway, moving on. It could be worse.

A wave takes her top
Source: bg-mamma.com

Like being on the television for a live broadcast from the beach and you lose your bikini top on camera. Yep, found that in my research.

Girl loses her top on a pier
Source: eveyo.com

Or the case of a woman who was merely hanging out on a pier and her bikini top flew off into the ocean below. Yep, found that too. Or you are just enjoying the surf with a bunch of your friends and a lecherous wave comes along and yanks your bikini top right off your body. Found that too. I’m sure I can find hundreds if not thousands of these examples all over the world.

I also find lots of artwork titled Vicissitude, which surprised me, as well as a magazine titled Vicissitude, which double surprised me. I will say, I’m inspired by all those creative people around the world who find interesting ways of using these more obscure words.

Vicissitude magazine cover
Source: magcloud.com

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: dynasty

Word of the Day: dynasty

Terra Cotta Army
Source: yourchildlearns.com

Dynasty (noun) DYE-nuh-stee

Definition

1 : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent

2 : a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time

Examples

“A scion of the Patterson-Medill publishing dynasty (her great-grandfather and her father founded the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, respectively), [Alicia] Patterson launched Newsday in 1940, on Long Island, quickly building it from a small suburban daily to an influential national paper.” — Jocelyn Hannah, The New Yorker, 12 Sept. 2016

“Mark down 2016 as the year the Republican Party under a new standard-bearer divorced itself from the Bush dynasty.” — Dan Janison, Newsday (New York), 10 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Dynast and dynasty both descend from the Greek verb dynasthai, which means “to be able” or “to have power.” Dynasty came to prominence in English first; it has been part of our language since at least the 14th century. Dynast took its place in the linguistic family line in the early 1600s, and it has been used to describe sovereigns and other rulers ever since.

Joan Collins choked
Source: spytwins.com

My Take

God help me. When I searched for images related to today’s word, I immediately got hundreds of pictures from that 1980’s TV show of the same name. Ughhh!!!!! Then, mixed in those was ‘Duck Dynasty.’ Marginally better but WTFC. In my opinion, about the only good thing about the show evening soap opera was the cat fight between Linda Evans and Joan Collins. Two udders if I ever saw.

Linda Evans and Joan Collins catfight
Source: Unknown

Trying to trim out those references, I found Dynasty Warriors, a video game. Getting better but I’ve long since moved on from playing video games, preferring instead to play real life games. Those who know me intimately, know exactly what I mean by that.

What I really wanted to find were images related to the definition of the term. A family line of succession, a powerful group in power for a lengthy time. My first thoughts that came to mind when I saw the word was royalty, such as the Royal Line of England and Great Britain. I also thought of the dynasties of China, Egypt and the like. These are lines composed of blood.

Organized Crime
Source: uppedlife.wordpress.com

Then there are the business dynasties that rose over the past two centuries. You know what I mean. General Electric, Westinghouse, Wells Fargo, and the good old boys on Wall Street. Lest we forget political dynasties, such as in America and around the world. Then there are the dynasties within sports, such as today’s Women’s International Soccer (Futbol), or the dominance of the New England Patriots in American Football, or for a time, the Chicago Blackhawks, and in the 80’s the Atlanta Braves Baseball. Oh, and let’s not forget the NY Yankees who for much of the last one hundred years, is the team to beat. Sure, they all have their ups and downs. Inevitably, they all turn things around and rise to the top in their field.

Of course, there are the wanna be’s. I won’t go too much into them. There are literally millions of those. Me, I just want to leave my mark on the world. I’m doing that with my books and my artwork.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: wistful

Word of the Day: wistful

Wistful Look
Source: portrait-photos.org

Wistful (adjective) WIST-ful

Definition

1 : full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy; also : inspiring such yearning

2 : musingly sad : pensive

Examples

As the car pulled away, Lea cast one last wistful glance at the house where she’d spent so many happy years.

“The book left me in wistful reverie, envisioning that shimmering pond and a rugged, robust old gentleman in his ‘herringbone suit’ and jaunty wide-brimmed straw hat, sitting on a three-legged wooden chair in front of an easel, his brushes flying.” — Elfrieda Abbe, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 11 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

Are you yearning to know the history of wistful? If so, we can ease your melancholy a little by telling you that wistful comes from a combination of wishful and wistly, a now obsolete word meaning “intently.” We can’t say with certainty where wistly came from, but it may have sprung from whistly, an old term meaning “silently” or “quietly.” How did the supposed transition from a word meaning “quietly” to one meaning “intently” come about? That’s something to muse about, but the answer isn’t known.

My Take

Pug Wistful Look
Source: pugmeme.com

Damn, this is a perfect word to use in my books. So many of my characters find themselves yearning, pensive and melancholic. They look for something better, something that will improve their standing in the story. Some are beaten down and just need a sliver of hope. Some can direct their lives in better ways. While others wish they could, but assume that their fates are written in stone. They all have one thing in common. At times, they are wistfully thinking about the other side of the fence.

Wistful is a word that directly points to emotion. Usually, we think of emotion in human terms, but animals and even plants (IMHO) have emotions. I found a great image of Bruce Willis with a wistful, pensive expression on his face. I found the same in other people as well. I even found a meme of a pug, yearning for a scrap of food from their master’s breakfast plate.

Wistful Mermaid
Source: playbuzz.com

I love the word, and I’m going to redouble my efforts to use it in my stories. I hope you enjoy them. They’re available on Amazon, B&N, your favorite eBook retailer and right here on my site. Plus, available only on my site is a short story about a Mermaid who was too curious for her own good. She has no idea what she started when she went to investigate that fishing boat floating on the surface of the sea.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: genteel

Word of the Day: genteel

Come and enjoy a genteel morning with Jane
Source: independent.ie

Genteel (adjective) jen-TEEL

Definition

1 a : of or relating to the gentry or upper class

b : elegant or graceful in manner, appearance, or shape

c : free from vulgarity or rudeness : polite

2 : marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation

Examples

“The Hamptons, once so genteel, with their sepulchral light and estates hidden behind neatly groomed hedges, have managed to become a nexus of social life, … where openings and charity galas and club nights fill the summer calendar.” — Marisa Meltzer, Town & Country, 1 Aug. 2016

“At this preternaturally elegant new French restaurant …, the waitstaff keeps things lively with cheeky repartee. On arrival one late-summer evening, a man, having located his party, said to the host, ‘I’m with them,’ and was met with a genteel retort: ‘As you should be.'” — Shauna Lyon, The New Yorker, 26 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

In Roman times, the Latin noun gens was used to refer to a clan, a group of related people. Its plural gentes was used to designate all the people of the world, particularly non-Romans. An adjective form, gentilis, applied to both senses. Over time, the adjective was borrowed and passed through several languages. It came into Old French as gentil, a word that then meant “high-born” (in modern French it means “nice”); that term was carried over into Anglo-French, where English speakers found and borrowed it in the early 17th century.

My Take

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Source: flyingdowntohollywood.blogspot.com

Genteel, genteel. My my. It’s one thing to use the word in what one believes is the proper context and it’s quite another to discover you may have used it incorrectly over the years. Seeing the definitions in print have a way of making me stop and think. Have I used it wrong?

I know I’ve used it in the form described in ‘1b’ of the definitions, elegant and graceful. For example, when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance, it’s a thing of beauty, elegance, and grace. See, genteel.

But what about the other forms. Upper class, free of vulgarity and rudeness. I suppose those make sense to me. The gentry of society fits those definitions, though I know several of the gentries who are rude and vulgar to the rest of us.

2016 Camaro Interior
Source: topspeed.com

However, definition #2 seems out of place to me. To be marked by false delicacy, prudery, and affectation, well that seems an antonym to me. I’ll need to reflect on this definition, but I don’t believe I’ll resolve it anytime during the writing of this blog.

So, what else could be considered genteel? When I went looking for images related to the word, I found the usual products and companies capitalizing on the term. I found numerous joke panels using the word.

Hot Girl in High-Heels behind the wheel
Source: autospies.com

Then I stumbled on the interior of the Chevrolet Camaro 2LT. To me, that is the perfect representation of elegance and grace. Of course, I am biased to the car. I own one I see another in my future. The only thing better that the elegance of the interior of my Camaro is a sexy blonde sitting in my Camaro.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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A jigsaw puzzle piece.

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Word of the Day: riddle

Word of the Day: riddle

Riddle
Source: Google Play

Riddle (noun) RID-ul

Definition

1 : a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed : conundrum, enigma

2 : something or someone difficult to understand

Examples

Despite Nick’s outgoing nature, he doesn’t share many details about his background and personal life, so he remains something of a riddle.

“Stewart’s books are for children who like mysteries and riddles, and there are many scenes where readers hold their breath in suspense.” — Clara Martin, The Clarion-Ledger, 16 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

It is not unusual for words to acquire and lose meanings over time, and riddle is no exception. Old English speakers—who had a variety of spellings for riddle, including hrædels, redelse, and rædelse—used the word as we do today to describe a question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed, but they also used it in the now obsolete senses of “counsel,” “consideration,” “debate,” “conjecture,” “interpretation,” “imagination,” and “example.” (Not surprisingly, the Old English source of riddle is a cousin to Old English rǣdan, meaning “to interpret” or “to advise.”) By the beginning of the 15th century riddle acquired the sense of “a puzzling or perplexing thing,” and in the 17th century it also came to refer to “a puzzling or enigmatic person or being.”

My Take

Word Riddle Games
Source: bhavinionline.com

Riddle me this. Who has the creative soul to paint, draw, write and publish, can solve problems and issues with computers, software and a leaky roof, and yet, can’t solve the simplest of riddles?

Me

That’s right. I suck at solving word riddles. I have no idea why but I seem to stumble every time. Take, for example, the riddle I included in this post. I couldn’t solve it. Perhaps it has something to do with the lingering symptoms of my concussion, or maybe not.

The answer is … check the bottom of this post.

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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A jigsaw puzzle piece.

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Word of the Day: impute

Word of the Day: impute

Impute
Source: unknown

Impute (verb) im-PYOOT

Definition

1 : to lay the responsibility or blame for often falsely or unjustly

2 : to credit to a person or a cause

Examples

“Now, one comment in reaction to my essay said that by talking about the city’s problems and not its promise, I was in the business of tearing down Syracuse. At LeMoyne, I was taught that the most dangerous thing to do in argument was to impute motives to your opponent.” — Carl Schramm, Forbes.com, 4 Mar. 2013

“The CAS panel concluded that Sharapova’s case ‘was not about an athlete who cheated.’ Instead, the panel found, ‘It was only about the degree of fault that can be imputed to a player for her failure to make sure that the substance contained in a product she had been legally taking over a long period … remained in compliance.” — Tom Perrotta, The Wall Street Journal, 4 Oct. 2016

Keep Calm and Blame the Dog
Source: quizlet.com

Did You Know?

Impute is a somewhat formal word that is used to suggest that someone or something has done or is guilty of something. It is similar in meaning to such words as ascribe and attribute, though it is more likely to suggest an association with something that brings discredit. When we impute something, we typically impute it to someone or something. You may also encounter the related noun imputation, which appears in such contexts as “I deny all your imputations of blame.” Another sense of impute means “to calculate as a value or cost (as for taxation),” as in “impute a benefit from the use of the car.”

Impute CoHabitation
Source: roystoncartoons.com

My Take

Do you know how hard it is to find images related to today’s word, impute without insulting someone? It means to lay blame falsely or to credit a person unjustly.

I just won’t do it on this blog. My errors are my own, and I will not blame someone else for my short givings. I did question the difference between Impute and Impune. I thought they were related, but I wanted to make sure. I’m happy to say; they are, but not exactly. Impune is an adjective meaning ‘unpunished.’ I take it that the individual blaming someone else (impute) for their error, may remain unpunished (impune) for their actions if they successfully transfer the blame.

You killed my sister
Source: viewsaskew.wordpress.com

That said, I stayed away from using images with real people, or at least where you can recognize them. That left me with banners of the word and cartoons, and of course, this one where the Wicked Witch blames Dorothy for killing her sister. I downloaded many of them but I probably won’t use them all. I hope you like them, as I wouldn’t want to impute my actions on someone else.

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Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: protocol

Word of the Day: protocol

Keep Calm and Follow Protocol
Source: http://techspiro.blogspot.com/

Protocol (noun) PROH-tuh-kawl

Definition

1 : an original draft or record of a document or transaction

2 : a preliminary memorandum of diplomatic negotiation

3 : a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence

4 : a set of conventions for formatting data in an electronic communications system

5 : a detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure

Keep Calm and Fuck Protocol
Source: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Examples

“A protocol that arose from Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, research has led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a biological drug for the treatment of a certain form of lung cancer.” — USA Today, 1 Oct. 2016

“Throughout Obama’s first term, critics described him as naïve, particularly in the area of foreign relations—so ignorant of practical realities that he didn’t even understand the symbolic protocols of a state visit. In 2009, when he bowed to Emperor Akihito, on a trip to Tokyo, he was referred to on the far right as ‘treasonous.'” — Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In Late Greek, the word prōtokollon referred to the first sheet of a papyrus roll bearing the date of its manufacture. In some instances, it consisted of a flyleaf that was glued to the outside of a manuscript’s case and provided a description of its contents. Coming from the Greek prefix prōto– (“first”) and the noun kolla (“glue”), prōtokollongave us our word protocol. In its earliest uses in the 15th century, the word referred to a prologue or preface and also to a record of a document or transaction. In the late 19th century, it began to be used in reference to the etiquette observed by the Head of State of France in ceremonies and relations with other dignitaries. This sense has since extended in meaning to cover any code of proper conduct.

How Stuff Works
Source: computer.howstuffworks.com

My Take

As a software engineer, programmer and network technician, I live and breathe protocols. In fact, I see the entire world as an intricate pattern of protocols. Every interaction between two things, objects, animals, and people involves protocols.

Think about it. In western culture, shaking hands is protocol when solidifying a deal. In Europe kissing each other on the cheek is a protocol as a greeting or salutation. In the U.S. kissing on the cheek is less common outside the immediate family. In Japan, people bow to each other in a sign of respect when greeting each other.

Explaining the NFL’s concussion protocol
Source: sbnation.com

In the wild, if you watch the social interactions of a lion pride, you’ll note that there is a pecking order or protocol. A stag will fight another stag to protect his territory from others and to maintain the social order of his does.

In the health industry, there are protocols on everything, right down from triaging an injury to documentation on a case. The NFL recently instituted ‘Concussion Protocols’ to mitigate serious injury in players. Society has protocols on everything, from public nudity to waste recycling to which side of the road one must drive.

Cell Phone Ediquette
Source: naturalhealthprotocol.com

Have you ever dated a person who while during a date will interrupt your conversation to take a call, text or otherwise disrupt the evening? I’ve even heard of people answering their phones & text messages while in the midst of having sex. What kind of shit is that? Leave the phone down and enjoy your partner. The caller/texter can wait.

Then of course, are all the protocols involved with just using a cell phone. Thousands of protocols are used to connect you to your friend or relative, regardless of whether they are in the next room or across the globe. I won’t go into all of them but please believe me, there are a lot.

If you share this post via Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: Kafkaesque

Word of the Day: Kafkaesque

Kafkaesque Shadow
Source: 2012thetrial.wordpress.com

Kafkaesque (adjective) kahf-kuh-ESK

Definition

: of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially : having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality

Examples

“Dealing with the Kafkaesque health system, for example, would be enough to make anyone ‘agitated, aggressive, irritable or temperamental.'” — Logan Jenkins, The San Diego Union Tribune, 27 July 2016

“I think the ultimate nightmare is for you to get into a Kafkaesque situation where you know you haven’t done anything wrong . . . but for some reason you are not listened to and you are not being believed.” — Lee Child, quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Kafkaesque
Source: whynameitthat.blogspot.com

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born German-language writer whose surreal fiction vividly expressed the anxiety, alienation, and powerlessness of the individual in the 20th century. Kafka’s work is characterized by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority. Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.

My Take

Relativity July 1953 Woodcut 28.2x29.4cm
Source: westkengibbsgreen.wordpress.com

When I first saw the Word of the Day by Merriam-Webster, I said to myself, WTF? I mean, why create a word associated with a person. Granted, Kafka is not just any person. He was a gifted communicator of the bizarre and complex.

Then I went about and searched for images. I found a plethora of them, thousands. Some I recognized, most I did not. Once again, I found products using the word in either their marketing efforts or the company name. I found lots of artwork and books on the subject. And let’s not forget the numerous cartoons.

You know what? I like bizarre. I like complex. I like to make logical appear illogical as well as the reverse. My stories tend to border on the bizarre but nothing on the order of Kafka.

When you boil it all down, I don’t know what to make of the word. I doubt I’ll use it in conversation or in my stories, but at least I am aware of the word and the meaning behind it. What do you think?

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Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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