Blot

Blot: (n) a dark mark or stain

Dictionary B

It was a typical piece of white typing paper.

I didn’t even look at it.

I stuck it into the tray of my printer and Xeroxed a copy of some document that seemed pertinent in the moment.

I pulled it out, looked at it, and suddenly saw this tiny black dot in the corner.

I didn’t give it a second thought. Who cares about a blot? Nobody will notice. It doesn’t make any difference.

If I pass it off as a clean sheet of paper, I can probably fool people into believing it’s just fine and there was really no blot there in the first place.

But after ten minutes, I took the paper, wadded it up and threw it away.

Why? Because someone will always see the blot and wonder if I was so stupid I missed it, or so careless that I thought it didn’t matter

 

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Append

dictionary with letter A

Append (v.): to add to the end of a document or piece of writing.

Much truth comes out through silliness.

I have found this to be very accurate and on point.

When we’re unable to speak our feelings clearly, we often cast to the wind a sideways remark, later insisting that we were “just kidding.”

For instance, certainly the people who wrote the books of the Bible had no comprehension that thousands of years later, souls would be poring over their thoughts, seeking eternal insights for their internal workings. If they had, they probably would have added an “append” at the end, or a P.S. which read, “By the way, when I wrote Chapters 4-7, I was grumpy and suffering from indigestion” or, “Just kidding.”

Likewise, the delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention knew almost immediately that they had left out some very important ideas, so they added a ten-point “append,” which we now refer to as the Bill of Rights. (Also some of them from the Northern colonies probably wanted to take their quills and jot down an apology to the black race for the three-fifths assessment of their value.)

There isn’t anything I write each day in my columns and blogs that I would want to become everlasting “gospel” for humankind. Maybe I should close with T.I.C. (Tongue In Cheek). So I reserve the right to append all of my pennings almost immediately.

If we really believe that documents are divinely inspired, then we must clarify by saying that they are not divinely scrawled. Even in the process of inspiration flowing through the human being, it picks up some trash, ignorance and dirt along the way.

The truly intelligent reader of great manuscripts must possess the discernment of the spirit which inspired them.

  • So I listen to Beethoven not to worship his talent, but to appreciate the creativity and the frailty which make it human.
  • I read Thomas Jefferson knowing that he had higher ideals than his morals could acquire.
  • And I study Moses and the Apostle Paul from the Good Book, understanding that the yearning they had to be universal was somewhat stalled by their sheep-herder and tent-maker mentalities.

It doesn’t limit the beauty.

It just brings focus to it.

 

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Apostrophe

dictionary with letter A

Apostrophe (n.): a punctuation mark (‘) used to indicate either possession or the omission of letters or numbers.

It is a very good question. Are shortcuts in life an expression of laziness, or a desire to simplify before we end up being conquered?

Because honestly, I have taken some shortcuts which certainly ended up at dead ends, and have often found myself taking the long way home, only to be mocked by those who use a better GPS.

You see, the apostrophe already had a job. It was being used to prove that we own something. It was a clerical title-deed, to be presented to the reader, to establish the authenticity of our rights.

But them someone said, “There ought to be another job for this little marking. After all, the formal nature of using words like ‘is’ and ‘are’ over and over again is extremely tedious. So maybe if we leave out one of the letters, and stick in the apostrophe, which is already hanging around, we could come across as more relaxed, if not hip.”

I don’t know if someone experimented with this once in writing a document, or even when it started. For instance, I don’t see any apostrophes in the Declaration of Independence. It remains rather “verbal.”

Yet as a writer, I am often encouraged to shorten words with apostrophes so as not to appear to be a stick in the mud. Why is that?

(Or perhaps better phrased, why’s that?)

I think we do a disservice to ourselves when we merely accept the radical concepts of the previous generation as common doings in our own time simply because they survived the rigors of scrutiny.

So for me, there are occasions when I think clarity demands the addition of the full use of the little verbs … instead of sticking in a comma dangling in midair.

 

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ADD

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

ADD: (abbr.) attention deficit disorder

Ironically, I was thinking about writing an essay on how Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence, was considered by many of his cohorts–those gentlemen we call “the forefathers”–to be a rather obnoxious sort because he was always bouncing from one idea to another, proposing several different drafts and considering every paragraph and line in his document, like some sort of nervous kid on a sugar high.

Oops. There he is again.

The fly.

He got let into the room yesterday. I HATE a fly in my room. Do you know why? They lie in some corner, dormant, until, in some fit of gregarious insect joviality, they join you for dinner, watching TV or sipping your coffee.

I want to kill the fly. Is that wrong?

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson, he had a tendency to question the silliest little words, wondering if they would be understandable to future generations, and what that generation would consider to be freedom and their concept of the Revolution.

Do you like that song by the Beatles? I’m talking about the song, Revolution.

Do you know what I once did? I was doing a television show and wanted to include the song, but every time I tried to edit the song in, it was distorted. So I bought myself a mixer to try to remove the distortion, and then someone pointed out to me that the first part of the song commences with a distorted guitar.

Which brings me back to Thomas Jefferson. I think he finally realized there’s no such thing as a perfect document, and the Declaration of Independence would have to be interpreted by future generations based upon our evolution in democracy.

Do you really think we came from monkeys? I was thinking about evolution. We’ve never really found the missing link, have we? I have met some folks worthy of study, but even they would not be conclusive to such a claim.

It’s not that I would mind being a monkey, it’s just that cooking with only bananas would get very old–let’s say, lose its “a-peel.”

Even though I suppose you could use plantains. Do you like them? Plantains? Do I really want a non-sweet banana? Do I need a potato substitute? Have potatoes failed me?

I like Mr. Potato Head. I was one of those weird kids who used to put the ear in the nose and the nose on the mouth…and then I would present it to people, thinking it was funny, and they just thought it was weird.

Yes, it was weird that Thomas Jefferson fussed so much about the Declaration of Independence.

Do you think maybe he had ADD?