Saturday, October 27, 2012

Useful New Word

I love words. My children will tell you that I am inveterate user of large words and player of word games. I come by it naturally. Both of my parents were readers who read to me and encouraged me to read.  They also made sure that I was provided with a more than ample supply of reading material.

When I was bored, I was told "Go get a book from the encyclopedia. Find something you like, read about it and come tell me what you read. Sometimes, rather than the encyclopedia, I would page through the dictionary. 

Thus began my love of language, of vocabulary, of words.

Over the years, I learned that English has the largest vocabulary -- the largest number of words -- of any language in the world. Therefore, I firmly believe that, in English, there must be exactly one word to precisely state any idea with all of the subtle nuances of meaning of which we Americans are so fond. My goal, sometimes reached, is to find and use those words.

Thus, I am pleased to announce the advent of a new word, perfect for describing the political process. According to Google, it was originally discovered on a T shirt on eBay. 

The word is "ineptocracy", defined as follows:
Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy): (noun) a system of government where those least capable to lead are elected by those least capable of producing; and, where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
Finally, a word to precisely describe our current political situation!

I love this word and believe that it will become a recognized part of the US English language. As a student of language, I encourage you to use and make it a regular part of the ongoing political discourse.

Ineptocracy! A word whose time has come.

How will you slip this new word into polite conversation next week?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Comfort

When I find myself in time of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me.
Bearing foods of comfort, 
Mac and cheese.
(Mac and cheese)
                                             (with apologies to John Lennon)

Autumn brings cool temperatures, short days, longer nights, and the urge to hibernate. With the change of seasons comes an appetite for foods that give the eater a feeling of warmth and well being.  We call these comfort foods. Most of these foods are high in carbs and calories, flavors and fat. There are no finer foods in the world.  

We all have our own comfort foods, most remembered fondly from childhood, foods like.  

Meatloaf and mashed pototoes (with lot of gravy!).
Pot roast with vegetables.
Hot dogs with mac and cheese, and its cousins beefaroni and chili mac.
Beef stew.
Tomato soup with grilled cheese or vegetable soup with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches..
Porcupine pie with tomato sauce.

For my wife, pasta and red sauce are essential ingredients. 

For me, all of the above leave me feel well fed, comfortable and ready to hibernate..

Ben Franklin once observed that "Wine is God's way of saying He loves us and wants us to be happy."

I now say that comfort food is God's way of saying He loves us and wants us to feel warm despite the chill of autumn.

So, what is your favorite comfort food?

When will you eat it next?