Friday, April 16, 2021

The Daily Word for April 16, 2021

 


cahoots (in cahoots) - in a partnership, usually conspiratorial 


This morning while mining interesting words on-line, I came across "cahoots," used exclusively as the object of the preposition "in." "In cahoots" could be either an adverb or adjective phrase depending on the part of speech of the word being modified in the sentence. (I know what you're thinking, "Oh geez, she really is an English teacher.) No matter. I chose the word (phrase) simply because I haven't heard it used in a while, and I am wondering why as clearly, it is still relevant. For instance about five minutes ago on Twitter, I read a commentary on the political situation regarding Russia. Although this is breaking news, Russian agents have been accused of acting in cahoots to undermine our system of democratic elections. Just yesterday, as a result, POTUS Biden slapped sanctions on Russia. There are many more current events that involve people working in cahoots. Why? Human nature. Often minds conspire to conjure up controversy when they should really be concentrating on conjuring solutions to controversies. In a perfect world, "in cahoots" might not even be in the English lexicon. But it is and somehow we must all rise above it.

Happy Friday!!!!


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Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Daily Word for April 15, 2021

 

diaspora - noun - the movement of people away from an established homeland


I don't know about you, but I have found myself doing a lot of reading over the past year, something a bit out of character for me. Everything I can get my hands on, books–mainly fiction–magazines like The New Yorker, Time, even The New York Times, the hardcopy newsprint delivered by a high-speed paperboy in his Mustang–I devour. (Just kidding. I don't know what kind of vehicle he drives. He could even be a she or they.) I even started up a book club composed of former highly literate colleagues on Zoom. Although I am not a bibliophile quite yet, my newfound passion might just be analogous to diaspora as I have given up my former homeland (outings to restaurants with friends) to migrate to a city of information, actual and fictive. 

If you aren't like me and rarely read anything even in this out-of-the-blue climate, I recommend the pastime. If nothing else, reading helps to keep the vocabulary expansive (I uncovered today's word in a book review I just read in Time) and the mind chipper. The friends with whom you text or connect on Facebook or Instagram might even be impressed with your knowledge of current events or grateful for a literary recommendation. And you could soon become the toast of your social media realm. Good things can come from print.

The weekend is almost here. Enjoy! 


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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Daily Word for April 14, 2021

 

adagio - adverb (adj./noun) - slowly


Adagio is a musician's term, designating how a piece of music should be played to satisfy the composer's intentions. As a singer-songwriter whose genre is primarily folk, I like the idea of adagio, but as my live audiences are many 75 and over, I know that if I choose an adagio repertoire, I stand the risk of putting my listeners to sleep. And I often do. Is that so bad, though? I mean when I perform in nursing homes, I do tend to fill the slot after lunch, which is siesta in Spanish cultures. Which leads me to another, larger question:

Would an adagio life be all that bad?

I want to say no. We tend to move rapidly through the minutes of the day. But what if we were to slow down a bit? I know this sounds Zen, and what of it, but most of us could stand to occupy moments fully before moving on, enjoying the present as opposed to drifting back into the past or catapulting ourselves into the future. 

Today is Wednesday, the middle of the week. Experiment. Concentrate on living minute-by-minute just to see how the day progresses. You may be surprised at how much satisfaction you'll derive from it. 

Enjoy! 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Daily Word for April 13, 2021

 

solipsist - noun - an extreme egotist that does not trust anyone else's mind but his/her own


I don't know about you, but I've been streaming and watching quite a few documentaries lately on the tube. Although I have been back to two movie theaters in the past two weeks, the fare hasn't been all that impressive. What is available via myriad services on demand is much more entertaining. Right now, I am addicted to PBS's series on Ernest Hemingway, who could probably rank as a solipsist, as he had quite an enlarged ego, and his upbringing definitely explains why. His mother was quite a solipsist herself, and a very controlling one at that. Although the program does unearth quite a bit about Hemingway, blanks are left to be filled in by the viewers. Enough evidence is provided so that they can make inferences. A person's actions speak volumes about him or her. 

Which is why we can't get lazy. Our lives have changed unrecognizably over the past year, but we can't crawl into ourselves and become solipsistic because our habits might have become more insular. We might feel as though we are inhabiting that island cave, but in a lot of ways, we have become more connected than ever via technology. We have continue thinking of others and find a way to improve lives if only just one at a time.

Reach out and enjoy your Tuesday! 


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Monday, April 12, 2021

The Daily Word for April 12, 2021

 

agelast - noun - a person who never laughs


I would bet that you have known at least one agelast, that down-in-the-mouth, party pooper that can't make or take a joke, that person that wouldn't recognize Humor if it tripped him or her up on the street. Yes, the agelast is a tough one to fathom especially today as laughter might be something of a necessity.

Laughter is not only healthy, it is a saving grace. Case in point, when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, something inside of me transmogrified from liquid to solid: I was petrified. I had to find a means of loosening the rocks that had built a wall of paranoia. Ergo, I sent my sense of humor into overdrive, and I started to tell jokes to everyone: my oncologist-surgeon, his P.A., his nurse, the technicians, the orderlies... you get the picture. Provoking laughter in them resulted my own laughter, so much that the wall of fear that I had built inside began to crack. Eventually, it fell down. In short, I survived the entire ordeal and am still alive today to convey the anecdote to you. 

If you are an agelast, crack a smile every once in a while. Find something or someone that might just make you release your inhibitions so that you can chuckle, chortle, cackle your way into freedom from the straight jacket of angst. Good luck. I've got your back.

Breathe in Monday and enjoy! 


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Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Daily Word for April 10, 2021

 


curlews - noun - birds


Like many of you, I belong to a book club, but one of my own invention. With the birth of COVID-19 came the rise of Zoom and the desire to use it during lockdown. Admittedly, I have never been a contemporary bibliophile to any great extent. However, I might have been in a former life as I tend to prefer classics over new releases. Upon establishing the club and enlisting former colleagues, mainly retired educators who are bookworms devouring just about anything they find, I knew I had to be open to recommending books written in this century. My recent choice was Colum McCann's wonderful Let the Great World Spin, the title of which is a reference to a line in Tennyson's elegiac narrative poem, "Locksley Hall." The one member of the group who is still teaching high school English, a woman from Liverpool originally, emailed the rest of us a copy. Naturally, I read it, extracting "curlews" from it. Why?

Spring is all about curlews, particularly robins. They seem to be ubiquitous, yet innocuous. And as adept singers themselves, they make one attentive audience. Whenever I sit down to practice my music, I open the window and allow them to gather outside to listen. Because of their polite curiosity and resulting respectful tolerance, I consider them friends. 

But enough about my experiences. There are two takeaways here for you:

1. "Let the great world spin" is timeless, practical advice for anyone caught up in the present newsworthiness. 

2. Curlews, and all other aspects of nature, are gifts to all. Totally free. They come with the package called Life.

It's Saturday. Forget about everything that is making you paranoid and take a "walk on the wild side" even if it is just down the street. 


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Friday, April 9, 2021

The Daily Word for April 9, 2021

 

canorous - adjective - melodious, resonant song or speech


Whether like it or not, I am in the business of song. A year ago last October, after my agent convinced me that I am capable, I started writing songs as a solo "artist." The quotes surround the word because I do not perceive myself as an artist although I've been told that I am. Simply put, my aim is to write canorous music for all who wish to hear it. However, what is canorous to one may not be to another. Subjectivity is the name of the game. Which is what makes it so difficult. 

All of the above aside, is it possible to aspire to lead a canorous life in the metaphorical sense? As the eternal optimist, I'd say yes. Drama arises out of conflict, but do we need as much as we have? Can we strive to lead harmonious lives that resonate favorably? I believe we can and will if we choose to eliminate some of the excess noise around us. Yesterday, I played hooky, took most of the day off from technology, and I noticed a lot of natural beauty happening around me–little things like the heads of my hostas pushing through the soil. And it felt good to be the observer. Try it; you may like it.

Have a canorous Friday in as many ways as possible! 



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The Daily Word for April 16, 2021

  cahoots (in cahoots) - in a partnership, usually conspiratorial  This morning while mining interesting words on-line, I came across "...