Some were sceptical when Barack Obama told Jewish voters that his first name had the same Semitic root as Hebrew "Baruch," meaning "A blessing."  Although further speculation (not by Obama) that Barack was...
The word "caucus" sounds Latin to the core, and summons images of Roman Senators haggling away in their togas.
The fact may be that a caucus is more powwow than Capitoline deliberation.
Walter W. Skeat...
At a "working lunch" meeting, a coworker ordered a chai amid calls for lattes and regular coffees. That order reminded this writer that the name for the beverage known to us as "tea" has two basic forms in the...
Henry Kissinger once said:
"“For other nations, Utopia is a blessed past never to be recovered; for Americans it is just beyond the horizon.”"
This sounds like a nice sentiment but perhaps Kissinger should have
chosen another word than horizon. As Mark Pattison, a...
In old movies you sometimes see the reporter elbowing his way
through the crowd with a fedora on his head and stuck into the band of
the hat is a little sign “press.” These days we talk about the media more than the press
and this is appropriate because the news...
The Oxford American Dictionary of Current English defines destination as:
"“a place to which a person or thing is going”"
This is in fact one of those examples of human laziness because this sense of destination is actually short for the phrase place of destination.
To ponder something is to think about it. Although the first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary is for ponder as
a noun, the verb, as we use it, actually has a longer history. It
appears first in the written record in the late 1300s and not
The other day I was listening to a radio piece about teenagers
driving, what with all the grad parties that had been going on. What
struck me was one cop’s description of impaired driving that extended
beyond driving drunk. She said drivers were sometimes...
If I look up the word mesmerized in a modern dictionary it
will tell me that to be mesmerized is to be fascinated and almost put
into a trance, or hypnotized. The New Oxford American Dictionary gives the following example sentence:
"“she was mesmerized by the blue...
As you slather that mustard on your burger little do you think of the Romans who named this delicious yellow condiment.
Mustard is made from mustard seeds but the plant takes the name from
the foodstuff and not the other way around. Mustard is made by
Doctor Joseph Guillotin was a reformer and compassionate public
representative in the days leading up to the French Revolution. It’s
too bad that he’s remembered in the name we give the head-chopping
instrument by which so many of France’s revolutionary victims...