Clarify: (v) to make things less confused

In our attempts to discover right and wrong, good timing and bad timing, and safe or unsound, we have become excellent liars.

Not willing to take a chance on sharing what we feel–out of a deep fear that we might be incorrect–we have developed a series of “wedge
statements” which seem to fit into any given clumsy moment, offering absolutely no insight or means of clarifying.

Things like:

“We have that under advisement”

“That’s something we were just talking about the other day”

“We have a committee checking into that”

“We are collecting data”

“Of course we want to do what’s right for the American people”

“This is no time to make rash decisions”

All of these squeaky-clean, insipid excuses may avoid committment, but have more and more of our citizens ending up committed (mainly to mental hospitals).

Somewhere along the line, you have to clarify your position, even if you happen to be completely out-of-whack.

After all, holding a cough in does not get rid of the foul mucus. Likewise, holding in an opinion does not dispel ignorance. It just allows it to grow like mushrooms in a dark cave.

“Let me clarify my position” is not an attempt to prove your point. It lets those around you have an awareness and sensitivity of the emotional air you are presently breathing–so they will know how to offer you oxygen.


Donate Button



dictionary with letter A


Anti-establishment (adj): against the establishment or established authority.

There is no good idea that wasn’t once anti-establishment.


Because it’s just too easy to establish something.

All you have to do is get enough people to agree with you, fund it, develop a slogan, and set up a network of cantankerous and often contradictory committees.

We have to realize that the United States is not an established idea. Actually, it’s a rather rag-tag collection of opinions which are still being ironed out because there are so many wrinkles from the initial roll-out.

We are a mess–and damn proud of it, by the way.

So it becomes quite comical to me when anyone suggests that anything in this country is anti-establishment. For after all, everything in this country is actually anti-establishment, struggling to get the nod of the 51%.

Democracy is such a dog show it’s no wonder we occasionally end up with a dog.

So before we become self-righteous about some cause, or believe that the entire heavens have inhabited our earthly philosophy to be distributed to the masses, let us realize that our country has fought every nationality that has ever tried to emigrate here, has imprisoned and enslaved several colors, and continues to fearfully try to protect principles which have already screamed for some touch-up and repair.

Therefore, how can you be on the safe end of all the ruckus going on as we jockey for position and stump for votes?

Always remember three things. It will help you to determine where to stand:

  1. God gave people free will and He won’t let you take it away.
  2. Anything that helps people find themselves at least opens the door to them becoming better.
  3. No one is better than anyone else. In other words, we’re all more alike than different.

Yes, if you add your fourth part to that trio that sings the song of freedom, forming your own quartet, you will find that most of the time you won’t need to sing off-key.



Donate Button

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


dictionary with letter A

Ampersand: (n) the sign &, standing for and, as in Smith & Co

Must have been a hard sell.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate how the things we take for granted or assume were always around had to go through a process to become acceptable or even permissible.

Can you imagine the meeting?

Some guy or gal walking in, trying to convince everyone that the word “and” was so repetitive that every once in a while, changing it to this new configuration of an ampersand would be helpful to break up the monotony and obtuse traditionalism.

I don’t know–I might have objected. After all, it’s a slippery slope, right?? Pretty soon, we’ll be inserting pictures of frying pans to represent women and football helmets for men.

Where will it end? After all, how exhausting is it to write a-n-d? And also, after you figure out, with your pen, how to make the ampersand look respectable, you could have written “and” seven times!

It was definitely a public relations miracle, pulled off by some individual determined to simplify our lives, even if the simplification may have been over-simplified.

We must understand that the little victories that etch their way through the stone of committees and boards of scrutiny set in motion the possibility that if something important truly does come along, maybe a crack in the rock will let in some light.

So here’s to the person–whoever he or she is–who came up with the ampersand. It didn’t change anyone’s life. It didn’t heal the sick or raise the dead. It didn’t even leave an imprint in the wet cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

But it lets us know that ideas have a chance … even when they’re teensy-weensy.


Donate Button

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


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allocate: (v) to distribute duties or resources for a particular purpose.

I have discovered over the years that the best way for me to move forward in success and personal appeal is to extract as much fussiness from my ego and body language as humanly possible.

Even though we will occasionally tolerate a bit of sassiness in one another, we eventually grow weary in well-doing and begin to plot the social death of such aggravating creatures.

With that in mind, I cautiously present to you that one of my pet peeves is the word “allocate.”

I don’t like to be allocated.

Over the years I have acquired a toleration for the process because I live in a world where progress is ignored in favor of the worship of committees. Sometimes I feel it might be better if chaos, anarchy, or at least wild abandon permeated our species, and we spent more time correcting our mistakes than we do planning our indecision.

Just the action of “allocating” has an arrogance to it–as if we have asked God to step down from His throne and allow us to be Kings for a Day.

Let me be the first (or maybe the second) to shout aloud: “I don’t know what I’m doing!”

It isn’t that I lack experience, or that I’m less intelligent than you. It’s just that I’m fully aware that allocating love, finance, mission, mercy or direction to other people is well beyond my expertise.

I am extraordinarily suspicious of those who pull on a tie, sport a smug grin and in great detail explain why certain things can not happen because they can’t be “allocated in this environment.”

As I said, it is a bit of fussiness. And I am certainly not opposed to hearing good counsel or even being submissive to the powers that be.

But for God’s sake, can we say we really believe in a Divine Creator if we never ask Him to do anything that doesn’t add up on our human-held abacus?

  • If I don’t ask God to lift weights that are heavier than my allocation, what’s the purpose of prayer?
  • And if I don’t think you can do more than what I think you can, based upon the limitations I have placed upon you, what is the value of friendship?

I am sure the intentions of “allocate” are good–and I will try to be less growly on these subjects.

But for the time being, I will continue to leave “allocate” and all of his relatives off my Christmas card list.