of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
A rapscallion (rap-skal-lyun) is not a singing green onion. Not at all. Unless that singing green onion happens to like to pull pranks on people and cause all kinds of mischief, then it would be a rapscallion-ish rap scallion, though most scallions I know neither rap nor are rapscallions.
Next time you misbehave, apologize and tell your parent you are sorry you were such a rapscallion. Who knows? They might laugh and let you off for good vocabulary.
Captain Jack Sparrow is a well-known fictitious rapscallion.
In the summer, I love nothing more than going out into my garden and extirpating all of the weeds. Can you guess what this means? I'm sure you can.
To extirpate (ex-ter-pate) is to get rid of completely. I pull the weeds out by the roots so they don't grow back.
If you had cancer, you would want the surgeon to properly extirpate the tumor so it didn't grow back.
I am trying very hard to extirpate all bad words from my vocabulary.
Ambiguity (am-bih-gyoo-ih-tee) is indecisiveness, either in what you say or what you think. It is the lack of ability to say what you mean clearly or the inability to make a decision.
When you ask to go to a friend's party and your parent says, "Oh, gee, I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not," that is ambiguity. Sometimes they are just busy and can't make a choice to let you go or not and sometimes they really don't know if it's a good idea.
When your parent asks you if you want to go visit your grandmother, and you say, "Oh, gee, I'm not sure if that's something I really want to do right now," that is also ambiguity. Perhaps you don't really want to go but don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or maybe you really don't know whether or not you want to go because you're thinking about that person in your class who is really cute and said "hello" to you and the last thing on your mind is grandma.
Either way, they are both examples of ambiguity and what happens is neither of you know what's really going on in the other's mind. What you are feeling is ambiguous.
Aurora Borealis, also known as Northern Lights, are beautiful light shows that happen in the sky when gaseous particles in the Earth's atmosphere collide with charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, they are called Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights. Most of these are pale green. These are oxygen particles about 60 miles up into the Earth's atmosphere. If the oxygen is higher than that, they will be red, but that is rare. If the gaseous particles are nitrogen, the Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australis are a gorgeous blue or purple.
I got to witness the Aurora Borealis when I lived in Alaska. They were breathtaking and majestic.
Thanks to RonnMurrayPhoto.com, you can witness this majesty.
One might suspect that the root word to gentility would be gentile. That is not so. Indeed, the word gentility is based on the word genteel. When one is genteel, or demonstrates gentility, they are perfectly mannered, well-bred, and sometimes . . . just sometimes . . . a little snooty. But, never tell them that, because that wouldn't be genteel. Instead, one might consider gently telling them, "The way I was brought up, we would never do something (or say something) such as you did just now." Then one would be telling them, with gentility, that one does not approve of their behavior.
Examples of gentility would be the royal family in England. They present their best selves to the public and show us all how to behave. They are genteel.
I am Becky Lyn Rickman. I am a writer because I love words almost as much as I love the people in my life. I want to fill the world with magnificent words and then jump in and splash around in them. I live with Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, my cats, but the only words they really love are "meat" and "gravy."