KINESIOLOGY [ki-nee-see-OL-uh-jee]: the study of the way in which one’s body structure determines movement

With all the visibility of the XXX Olympics it is hard to let an evening go by without thinking about the unbelievable capabilities of the human body.   Watching the athletes bend, stretch, reach, and twist in incredible feats of athleticism, one can only marvel at the creation of the body. None of this would be […]

DEFINITIVE: the standard, information upon which standards can be set

Those of you who know me well may remember that one of the most significant symbols in my thinking is that of the plumb line, which is pictured to the right.   It is used by carpenters and other builders to employ the force of gravity to establish a straight vertical line.  The plum bob is […]

TROOP: a collective noun indicating a band of soldiers, scouts, or other gatherings of people

When I was a kid I belonged to a Boy Scout troop.   It was a sizable gathering of boys who were divided into smaller units called patrols.  An individual who belonged to a troop was called a scout. State Police who are assigned to a specific segment of a state for service are called a […]

UNTOWARD [uhn-TAWRD]: inappropriate, unfavorable, unfortunate

Untoward is one of those words that makes you stumble over your tongue trying to pronounce it.  It looks like it should be pronounced [un-too-WARD.]  But for some reason the last two apparent syllables are slurred together to make one, [TAWRD.]   Maybe I’ve just been mis-pronouncing toward all my life.  Maybe it’s just one syllable.  […]

MOOT: of no practical importance

When I was in graduate school at Yale I was asked to be a part of a jury for a trial at the Yale Law School.  It was their annual moot court session, in which graduating (hopefully) scholars were tested on their courtroom skills.  It was a fascinating experience in which soon-to-be attorneys prepared a […]

OVERBEARING: dominating or dictatorial

This shouldn’t be a long posting today.  I doubt that there are many people “out there” who can’t identify with this term, overbearing.  It has to do with someone being overwhelmingly “on top of you” in the sense of being dictatorial, relentless, and generally a pain in the neck.  Is there anybody who has never […]