Verbs Versus Nouns

Language evolves; it’s a living entity.

websters-dictionary

As example, in the 1700s, what was a “butt-plate?”

If you thought it to be the 18th century version of shape wear or something on which you placed your “pratts” (buttocks), you’d be completely wrong. Rather, it was the metal plate at the “butt end” of a musket, used to protect the wood and possibly make the butt a better weapon unto itself.

Moving into the late 1800s, “seven miles behind the moon,” had nothing to do with astronomy. Rather, it was a way of saying someone was “crazy,” or “out there.”

We needn’t look too far into the past to see this evolution.

In our lifetimes alone, the use of words has drastically changed. I’m probably the only person on the planet who still uses the term “righteously bitchen.” Yet when I was a teen, that manifestation was about as common as platform shoes and aviator glasses. Now it’s heard as often as we see pet rocks.

This year, the latest additions to Webster’s dictionary included “crowdfunding,” “selfie,” and “fracking;” three terms that would have made its users seem seven miles behind the moon in the very recent past. [Read more...]

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Which Words Are You Using to Describe Yourself?

i-love-you-on-bricks

When you think about who you are, which words do you use?

Are they complimentary or insulting? Do they lift you up or hold you down? Would you say them to a child?

The words we use to describe ourselves turn into the reality of who we actually are.

If somebody were to describe you, which expressions do you think they’d use? [Read more...]

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The Ceremony

wedding-invitation

From its dawn through the mid-twentieth century, 90 percent of all gloves sold in the United States were manufactured in Gloversville, New York; making it one of the most appropriately named cities on the continent.

Originally known as “Stump City” because of all the trees that had been cut down it was incorporated in 1890. Having spent three weeks there, I can tell you firsthand that the sidewalks have probably not been repaired since that date. In many places, taking a walk was akin to scaling miniature cement mountains, circumventing canyons, crevices, and summits that substituted for a walkway.

Yet, it surpassed Augusta, Maine’s sidewalks, which were non-existent.

Trying to navigate the roadway to the shopping center, a distance of about one half mile, was analogous to open field running in a war zone. One scouts oncoming traffic waiting for a break, upon a clear patch, dash hurriedly down the road to the next safe haven, pause again for traffic, and repeat the process. (If more communities had decent sidewalks, it sure would help solve our obesity problem. However, that’s another topic.)

In the previous 94 days, I traveled 18,594.6 miles (give or take), from Anchorage to Augusta, Rutland to Redding.

While on the road, I visited a 20-foot tall chocolate fountain in Alaska. I resisted the urge to climb in, but succumbed to sampling real honest-to-goodness Vermont-made maple syrup while in Burlington. If you have not this pleasure, imagine the taste of a warm sunrise lightly brushed with natural honey gliding over your tongue, evaporating into airy nothingness.

Although mostly work-related, my journeys were book-ended by highly personal, deeply emotional events.

[Read more...]

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I Think Therefore I Become

Next to my bed is a nightstand.

man-in-bed-in-bedroom

I presume that is a common arrangement in many bedrooms. Upon the shelf of the nightstand are many books; this too I assume is widespread.

Like me, I take for granted that many people have three categories of books populating their nightstands:

Some wait to be read. While at a bookstore, the concept between its covers was so striking that I plunked down money, thinking, “I will read that someday.” Alas, “someday” has yet to make its appearance. Being optimistic, I’m sure it will (probably about the same time as when “I get my act together”).

The second classification is books started but still unfinished. Maybe I lost interest, the story was not as expected, or simply “life kicked in.” I could give them away but feel like I betrayed them, (does co-dependence apply to books?) so I pledge to finish reading them in the future. Until that fateful moment, they too shall gather dust.

Finally comes the definitive category: Books completed. Residing here include authors such as Robert B. Parker, Dean Koonz, and Roger McBride Allen. Most are novels because I like to “escape.” However, there is one self-help book I have read over and over again. Although I do not buy into everything she says, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay is infused with 210 pages of brilliantly simple wisdom (usually the best kind).

Hay’s philosophy, outlined in the foreword, includes:

  • We are each responsible for our experiences
  • Resentment, criticism, and guilt are damaging, and
  • It’s only a thought, which can be changed.

Furthermore, says Hay, feelings are “thoughts that stick.”

[Read more...]

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