MADDING: acting in a frenzied manner

madding crowd

Some people like crowds.  Some don’t. Some people receive energy by being in a crowded place.  Others get claustrophobia. Crowds can be vehicles of great celebration.   Crowds can be militant and vicious.   Obviously, when in the 18th century,  he wrote the poem, Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard,  Thomas Hardy portrayed the crowd […]

GRIEVE [greev]: to feel sorrow


It seems that the fact of death has become more and more common in my life lately.  Do you suppose that it has anything to do with the fact that I am now an “older American?”    But the issue of death is not reserved to older people.   There have also been numerous instances of deaths […]

CARDIO: heart


Forgive me if I alter the content of this blog posting.   Usually I am intent upon trying to define a word and put it into context.   Today, however, I want to do something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I am a cardiac patient, having had several cardiac events over the years, […]

CHRYSALIS [KRIS-uh-lis]: the hard shell covering surrounding a caterpillar which is becoming a butterfly


Every middle school science student has learned about the chrysalis.  If the science teacher is creative, the class has spread out in the fields to find one hanging on a branch.  It is a tubular, hard shell, hanging only by a thread.  Some are transparent; others are not. When taken back to the classroom and […]

HOPE: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best


The images we see on television are incomprehensible to those of us in our safe homes away from Oklahoma.   We would have to be there on the scene to have a true appreciation for the destruction people there awoke to this morning.  The F-4 tornado which swept through Moore and its neighboring communities is probably […]

MORIBUND [MAWR-uh-buhnd]: dying, near death


I came across a comment the other day that struck me as incorrect.  The person wrote that the issue of gun control legislation in Congress was moribund.   As I read on, I discovered that the writer was saying that it was “dead on arrival” on the floor of Congress.   Had he not used this term, […]