Apprehend

dictionary with letter A

Apprehend (v): 1. to arrest someone for a crime. 2. to understand or perceive: (e.g.) great art invites us to apprehend beauty

Occasionally, the dictionary offers us two definitions of a word, which seem quite unique to one another, if not at odds.

After all, what does being arrested have to do with learning?

Yet in a world where we “Cliff” notes, “Tweet” all thoughts and “abridge” our art into compact units, we must understand that somewhere along the line, the attention span of the average person needs to be stopped, frisked and arrested instead of just providing an “Amber Alert.”

Truthfully, we do have the word “comprehend,” which connotes that a reasonable person can consider an idea to determine if it has personal value.

But there are things in life which are so essential that they require a yea or nay. Yes, there are too many votes being taken in this country for us to move forward to progress our spiritual or human rights.

How do we communicate this?

  • I have rejected preaching because it is pompous.
  • Honestly, teaching takes too much time.
  • “Sharing” is a bit ephemeral for my taste.
  • I believe the only way to truly impact our generation is through illumination. Yes–turn on the damn lights and then explain why you have temporarily blinded the room.

Certain things in our society need to be apprehended quickly–arresting our attention–or the backlash from Mother Nature and Father God will be universal.

1. No one is better than anyone else.

Stop debating it; start believing it.

2. The Earth is the Lord’s but we are the caretakers.

Grab a hoe or a shovel instead of just using resources.

3. The greatest injustice on Earth is the inequity between men and women.

No, it’s not “cute” to fight.

4. We can’t keep killing and still call ourselves civilized.

War is a “grave” possibility.

There you go.

I suppose I could wait around for people to comprehend these ideas and come to some sort of compromise through debate and cajoling, but I do believe these concepts actually need to be apprehended by everyone immediately … to avoid the foolishness and pain that follow folly.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —¬† J.R. Practix

Abridge

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abridge: (v.): 1. to shorten (a book, movie, text or speech) without losing the sense. 2. curtail: Even the right to free speech can be abridged.

This happened to me several months ago.

I realized that my essays, speeches, and even books were getting too long. They needed to be abridged. But you see, the only problem with making something shorter is that the evidence of truth is often hidden in the longer discourse.

But our entire world is abridged, via texting, tweeting and even an instinct to summarize deep concepts into brief sound bytes. So I was thinking about famous thoughts or virtues that were once spoken in some length that now would be abridged in our society for the sake of convenience and ease of comprehension:

The Sermon on the Mount — It probably would be summarized via a tweet, to four words: Be good to people. Much would be lost in the translation,k but the tweeter would certainly insist that the summary was sufficient and specifics, unnecessary.

The Gettysburg Address: “Lots of dead people. Let’s honor them.” Even though Abraham Lincoln thought he WAS being brief, his words would still not fit into a tweet.

The Declaration of Independence: “We’re all the same, so chill out.” Thomas Jefferson’s eloquence might be lost in this rendition, but you cannot really tweet multi-syllabic words without abbreviating them anyway.

And of course, there’s The Bible, which would basically be tweeted out: “There is a God. Act accordingly.”

Even though I see the value of an occasional Reader’s Digest¬†abridging of certain aspects of human communication, there are thoughts that require the beauty of language and the interlacing of the fabric of phrases.

So brevity is the soul of wit–but sometimes being witty is not nearly as pretty.