dictionary with letter A

Apropos (adj): very appropriate to a particular situation.

Mr.Torrence had an aggravating mannerism which put people off and made them eventually despise him for his short-sightedness.

He was one of my eighth-grade teachers and the faculty advisor for our student council.

Every time we gathered, got into the midst of what we considered to be a fruitful discussion about some things that needed to be changed in the school, or about various projects we wanted to pursue, which seemed to be in line with the wishes of our friends, he would interrupt and say, “That’s not apropos.”

The first couple of times he said the word, we were all chilled to silence, because no one wanted to admit that we were unfamiliar with the idea. But finally, one of the braver members piped up, “What do you mean by apropos?”

He chucked at our ignorance and replied, “It’s off-point.”

Well, I’ve never been one to accept the authority of a figure simply because he’s had more birthdays and wears a tie, so I piped back, “It’s not off-point if we don’t think it’s off-point.”

He furrowed his brow in disapproval and sternly warned, “I am the adult here and I know what’s apropos and what’s not.”

Once again we all cowered in fear.

No one said anything else, and truthfully, our little organization was completely unable to back any idea or complete a project.

I had this abiding belief in my soul that eventually I would get old enough that I would escape the “Mr. Torrences” and be able to make my own decisions. But no matter how many bites of birthday cake I consume, marking the passing of my years, there continue to be these creatures, like Mr. Torrence, who want to decide for everybody else what is apropos.

Some do it claiming a reverence for God or a moral code; others do it because they have an inherent fear of change. And then, a vast majority put forth this profile simply to be controlling assholes.

Our entire country is stymied by a “spirit of apropos.”

We are stalled on the entrance ramp of the highway of life.

We are inundated by individuals who want us all to shiver in silence, never able to build up the speed to enter the stream of traffic.

Throughout the march of humankind, people have tried to chloroform new life by making us all afraid that what we’re about to do is out of line–and certainly not apropos.

Without the souls who are rebellious to the “Mr. Torrences” who come along, we still would be owning slaves, raising cattle, treating women like donkeys…and eating our dinner in the darkness of a cave.


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



Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acupuncture: (n.) a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain or treat various physical, mental and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, it is now a widely-accepted practice all over the world. 

“Widely accepted practice.” What does that mean?

Sometimes I think books like the dictionary or magazines—or even newscasts—want to appear hip and cool by portraying that oddities are actually not quite as odd as we might first think.

Recently I watched a report on television about how over half the world considers eating grasshoppers to be a great source of nutrition. Grasshoppers, they reported, have even more protein than steak. I must be candid. I had absolutely no inkling to go out, fire up the grill and barbecue myself twelve ounces of locusts.

It’s the same way I feel about acupuncture. I realize that I risk coming across ignorant—maybe inflexible.

About three years ago my daughter-in-law suggested that I go to one of those locations where they perform acupuncture, to alleviate some of the pain in my knee. She had a coupon.

That’s the first thing that struck me as humorous. How does one acquire an acupuncture coupon? But I digress…

She explained that really normal people have begun to have needles stuck into their skin at very intricate places, so as to stimulate healing and relief of pain. Here’s what I think: I think one of the most uncomfortable things in the world is anxiety, and the idea of having someone from China putting needles in my skin makes me a bit anxious. So through my fits of terror, how would I know if I was any better??

Now, I realize this is not a very enlightened view, and I’m sure as time goes on, we will discover that acupuncture has great benefit.

But in the barnyard of life, I would rather cower in the stables or chicken out in the coop than be one of the initial guinea pigs.

See what I mean? I’m going to wait for all the recommendations to come in, and probably for them to come up with an ACME Home Acupuncture kit before I participate.

I think I hurt my daughter-in-law’s feelings. She probably thinks I’m a stubborn old man. But make that a stubborn old man MINUS needles in his skin.