Convoy

Convoy: (n) the protection provided by an escort.

I will offer my one and single lamentation to you at this time:

I do not know what the value is of living so long that you have numerous experiences, delightful stories, and even warnings to share that nobody in the present age wishes to hear—because anything that has happened more than seven years ago is classified with the dinosaurs.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So if you’re a writer, or boldly call yourself an author, you must take into consideration that the present batch of readers have the foresight and vision of Mr. Magoo, who, by the way, they would not be familiar with.

Yet today, when I saw the word convoy, I was reminded of a time in the 1970’s, when our country was experiencing gasoline shortages. You had to actually think about when to purchase fuel, because the next location to get some might be far away.

There were practices of taking the last numbers on your license plate, and if it was an odd digit you could get gas on a certain day, and even numbers on other days.

In the midst of this slight rationing, it was conceived by intelligent men and women in Washington, D.C. that a great way to save fuel was to create a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour. (I know some of you young’uns may be giggling, but this actually happened.)

Now, I cannot tell you how tedious a 500-mile journey was if you followed the letter of the law and drove 55 miles per hour. Yet there were highway patrolmen all over the place picking people up, and even creating road blocks, to trap those who dared to exceed the “double-nickels.”

The whole era was eventually brought down by truck drivers, who clumped together in large convoys, sometimes ten miles in length, driving 70 miles an hour, challenging the authorities to pick them up en masse.

Just as Prohibition was eventually repealed due to fondness of spirits, the 55 mile per hour speed limit was very soon embedded deeply in our history as a folly of the foolish.

But it took a convoy.

It always takes a convoy.

Your one vote does not stop an onslaught of stupidity. Get together with your friends. Line up ten miles deep—and see how quickly the government lets you speed on.


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Bellyache

Bellyache: (v) to complain noisily or persistently.

Dictionary B

When does comparing become complaining?

When does musing over better ideas turn into lamentation over our lack?

When do we find ourselves bellyaching concerning the tenuous nature of the human race instead of uplifting our species to find the Kingdom of God within us?

I think it all depends on whether we lose our sense of humor.

The minute we feel it is our mission to discuss humanity and the failing conditions of our race in serious terms or with statistics and facts, we are in danger of turning into the kind of intellectual snobs which we normally disdain.

  • With every suggestion must come a hope.
  • Every criticism requires a door of escape.
  • And when we address the creation of Eden–man and woman–we need to afford them the respect given by their Creator, who looked down on them in their total nakedness … and thought it was all good.

 

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Batty

Batty: (adj) crazy; insane.Dictionary B

Most of the things I was taught that were “batty” and out of whack when I was a child of ten were revised by the time I was twenty-five, and then, almost universally accepted.

For instance, I often heard the word “nigger” when I was ten, which transformed into “negro” and then became “black,” making a sharp turn toward “African-American,” and now, honestly, I have no idea whatsoever what would be appropriate to say.

When I was a kid of ten years, divorce was evil, then became unfortunate, followed by common, culminating in expected.

At ten years of age, there were no gay people; then suddenly there were “queers and fags,” followed by “souls in distress who needed our prayers,” and nowadays have become the prerequisite for being a television star.

I am not offering this as a lamentation. I just feel it’s time for us to redefine “batty” and stop assigning it to human behavior.

We will save a lot of time this way, because eventually everything that at least somebody does will receive a level of acceptance and no longer be prohibited.

So what is batty? May I offer three suggestions:

  1. I believe it’s batty to think you can hold a war in an attempt to gain peace.
  2. I think it’s batty to have a human race and assume that because they’re male and female, they will never get along.
  3. I think it’s batty to worship a God who refuses to love some people because they don’t meet all the guidelines.

There you go.

I’m pretty sure those three things will continue to be batty as time goes on. Of course, I could be wrong.

After all, we live in a society that dishes out ounces of warnings … while manufacturing pounds of bacon. 

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Bailiwick

Bailiwick: (n) one’s sphere of operations or particular area of interest.Dictionary B

The English language is in hospice, dying of the cancer of over-simplification.

All language is now based upon whether we like it, understand it or can easily write it down, rather than whether it is accurate or just plain beautiful.

For example, take the word bailiwick.”

I have personally never used the word in a conversation for fear that someone would think I was trying to be pretentious. But it is a gorgeous word.

And even though I do not use the word, I know what it means, so when I do hear some articulate human being express it, I am able to comprehend the meaning.

But as a writer, I find it necessary to sit down at least once a week and listen to a group of teenagers talk. After all, they are deciding where the English language is headed.

Occasionally I throw a word or two at them which I think is fairly common, only to be startled by their bewildered faces as they wonder why I decided to speak as if I were reading from a dictionary.

This may sound like a lamentation, but I will tell you that by no means am I a stick-in-the-mud who thinks America is going to hell one discarded word at a time.

But I do believe the preservation of certain language, and the ability to write with a bit of literary flair, cannot be completely estranged from our everyday efforts or we will eventually be a society that breaks everything down into initials, acronyms and slang.

So here’s to the use of the word “bailiwick”–at least every once in a while.

And also to the gentle patience which will be required from those who use it … to explain to the surrounding, dumbfounded hearers.

 

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Adulation

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adulation: (n) obsequious flattery; excessive admiration or praise: e.g. he found it difficult to cope with the adulation of the fans.

Excessive admiration.

Doggone. That got me thinking. (Actually, if you’re going to be a writer, you should do some thinking. This premise may not be obvious, especially when you view articles in print. But a certain amount of reasoning, perceiving and a few thought bubbles should precede the process of jotting down lasting words in an essay.)

What is excessive? And what is admiration?

You know, I really think this is something human beings have worked out on their own. We have this great phrase: “admiring from afar.”

Even though I get grumpy and have the occasional lamentation because people don’t inform me of what they like about me, I do realize that they tell others. Maybe there’s something in the human psyche, or our “jungle sense,” which lets us know that we shouldn’t puff people up too much lest we burst them and splatter their contents to the four winds.

So instead, we tell others how much we like them, using that old-fashioned “trickle down” theory. In other words, we hope that what goes around really DOES come around.

There are too many people in this world, though, who hear too much praise and others who are destitute of having their hands lifted and their burdens lightened.

That sucks.

I mean, let’s be honest. Are the people we see on television REALLY the “best” at anything?

Even though I write, perform, compose and so forth, there are many other individuals worthy of more praise than me. So I’m careful to deflect the teaspoon of adulation I receive instead of swallowing it like medicine or licking it like honey off a stick.

Why? Because it’s excessive.

I also do not like religious services in which God is always “adored” and great adulation is given to His Holy Name–when really, as a Father, He would appreciate it if the kids would just pick up the room.

Yes, when you’re a parent, you don’t need your children to come around with saccharine affection, hugging you around the neck all the time. It would just be nice if they would take the trash out at the end of the day.

I don’t like adulation. I do like appreciation. Whenever something is done in kindness it should be acknowledged and encouraged.

But to insist that the person hung the moon because he or she was considerate ,,, is certainly lunacy.

Abubble

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abubble: (adj.) with great happiness and enthusiasm.

Gosh, I wish I could use that word. Wouldn’t that be fun, if you could walk into your house and turn to your family or friends and proclaim that “everyone seems abubble tonight?”

I certainly don’t want to begin this Monday with a lamentation; it’s just that sometimes it seems to me that if you use really colorful words or intelligent expressions, people look at you like you’re hoity-toity or maybe even a little fruity. Or worse–perhaps British.

Abubble is a great term.

There are certain occasions that should be abubble. People walking out of a movie theater should be abubble if they’ve seen a comedy, bouncing around from one foot to another, excitedly talking to their friends about what they’ve just viewed.

When the doors of a church open to release the congregants into the parking lot, there should be folks abubble with excitement, blessing and a celebration of God’s wonderful grace.

I think husbands and wives should be abubble. I know there are serious times and difficulties, but generally speaking, if we’re working out our problems instead of tabling them like we’re at the United Nations, the by-product of glee and gladness should seep forth.

But some words are deemed to be overwrought or old-fashioned. For instance, I told a group of people yesterday that they were proclaimed to be “contemporary” because they were laid-back, unmoved by the circumstances around them. When did the evidence of youth become a countenance unaffected? I don’t get it.

Even though we may never be able to return to commonly using the word “abubble” to describe the happiness coming from our hearts, we do need to find some word that allows us to celebrate the beauty of surviving difficult moments of humanity and coming out the other side …  victorious.