of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
Right now, with the presidential election only weeks away, the country is suffering from a massively uncomfortable case of agitprop (ah-jiht-prop).
Agitprop is also known as propaganda. It is propaganda that agitates, or stirs up, thus it is agit(ating)prop(aganda).
This practice started with the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, but is is full swing today in the United States where both the Republicans and the Democrats are doing everything in their power to destroy one another.
Agitprop is generally used in art and literature, such as the above poster.
It is probably best if we don't participate, but rather think clearly, study, research, debate, talk, and be as mature as we can when we decide who we want to lead our country.
I chose to put these two words together because they are similar and fun to say.
A balaclava (bal-uh-kloh-vuh) is simply a ski mask. They come in all colors and some even have features like beards or ears crocheted onto them for fun.
Baklava (boh-kluh-voh), on the other hand, is a delicious, Middle-eastern dessert made with fillo dough, honey, and nuts. It tastes amazing, but is also nice and gooey, flakey, and messy.
It is probably not a good idea to eat baklava while wearing a balaclava! But, it might be fun to say.
Veritas (vare-ih-toss) quite literally means truthfulness and honesty. I am full of veritas when I tell you this. I would not lie to you about the meaning of a word that means I would not lie to you. Does that make sense? I hope so. I would never want you to walk away from reading this thinking I wasn't full of veritas because I told you the wrong meaning for veritas. OK, I'm now officially confused!
There is a Latin phrase, veritas vos liberabit, which means, the truth shall set you free. I love Latin. Really love Latin! Latin helped me to love words so much. But, this is a good phrase to remember, even if you say it in English. Telling the truth is quite liberating. So, my friends, always embrace veritas!
Pinocchio did not practice veritas. That's why his nose grew!
Have you ever been so mad or upset that you wanted to scream a bad word?
I have a great word for you that won't get you a time-out!
It means nonsense, poppycock, no way, or stuff and nonsense.
But if you are angry, it is the perfect substitute for words that would only serve to anger your parents or teacher and get you into trouble.
Go ahead. Say it. It feels good!
Crinoline is a word you don't hear much anymore, but at one time, it was something everyone knew about.
A crinoline (krin-ah-lin) is something women used to wear under their skirts and dresses, like a slip, but more structured so that it made their skirts and dresses stand out, such as the hoop skirt crinoline below.
You know what they say . . . the bigger the crinoline, the harder it is to dance . . . or almost anything else!
Nowadays, when you hear crinoline, you think of costumes or wedding dresses. The modern crinoline is much more streamlined and easier to work with. I'm sure it's a lot more comfortable, as well.
Aw! Looks like someone is getting married!
I don't know too many people who aren't thalassophiles, but among those who aren't, there might be thalassophobes.
A thalassophile (thuh-lass-uh-file) is someone who loves the sea and ocean. I am one of them. I particularly love to lie on the beach in the dark and listen to the powerful waves roar and hit the sand. -phile at the end of a word generally means 'lover of.'
A large group of thalassophiles in their natural habitat.
A thalassophobe (thuh-lass-uh-fobe) is someone who fears the sea and ocean. I am definitely not one of those! Also, -phobe at the end of a word generally means 'one who is afraid of.' Like in phobia or fear of something. A claustrophobe is afraid of small places, which I am.
A very unlikely thalassophobe!
In the United States right now, there is a great schism (skiz-um), mainly in the area of politics. It is a schism between the Republicans, the Democrats, and the people who don't support either party. It is a 3-way schism.
So, what is a schism? It is a split or division between groups of people, generally with respect to government, religion, or cultural ideas.
The Protestant churches were born from a schism in the Catholic church. The Independent Party was realized from a schism in the Democratic and Republican parties.
Though a schism can be unsettling, it generally results in new ideas and change for the better.
Brachiate is a fun word that can be a noun or a related verb. Even more fun, it is pronounced two different ways; one for the noun and a different pronunciation for the verb.
The verb, brachiate (bray-key-ate) is what monkeys do in trees or you might do on the monkey bars at school. When you swing with alternating arms grabbing limbs or bars, you are brachiating.
When you see a tree with limbs on opposite sides of one another, those limbs are brachiate (bray-key-at).
No go forth and brachiate on a tree with brachiate limbs, or better yet, a set of monkey bars!
Believe it or not, fatuous (fat-chew-us) has nothing to do with body size or weight. It has everything to do with silliness and absurdity.
Have you ever told anyone, "If you die, I'll kill you!?" Kind of a pointless thing to say if they are already dead, right? That would be a fatuous statement.
Fatuous can describe words, people, actions, concepts, thoughts, and much more. While it might seem that all things fatuous are also useless, I can defend the word wholeheartedly when it comes to comedy.
Some of the things that make us laugh the hardest are considered fatuous by some. A pie in the face serves no purpose but to make us giggle. Physical comedy, also known as slapstick, is often fatuous and effective.
So I try to keep my thoughts from being fatuous, but often speak in a fatuous manner for a laugh.
A fun side note: the word infatuated comes from the word fatuous. It means a love that is superficial, a crush, a desire to be in love, but without the substance and backbone to make the commitment to a real relationship.
All animals have a favorite time of day or night when they are most active and alert.
For many, including my cats, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, the times are matutinal (dawn, or sunrise) and vespertine (evening or sunset). When animals are most active at those times of day, they are described as crepuscular (creh-puss-kew-lur).
We've all heard of nocturnal animals, meaning those who are most active during the night. Crepuscular animals want to hunt, play, and disturb the sleep of their owners during those times when it is dim, not light and not dark.
Some humans are also crepuscular, coming very much alive and accomplishing more during the evening and early mornings, but not me. No way! I am nocturnal. So, it is a slight conflict when the furry boys want to play predator when I want to catch up on my sleep in the early morning. This is what they look like:
"Hey, lady, is it time to play, yet?"
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."