Back in the day when I lived in expat world, I sometimes taught English. I always recommended A Word a Day (Anu Garg) to aspiring English speakers. Vocabulary is important. A Word a Day gives you both the meaning and will pronounce it for you, too.
Today, AWAD made me laugh. Today’s word is Trumpery.
1. Something showy but worthless.
2. Nonsense or rubbish.
3. Deceit; fraud; trickery.
From French tromper (to deceive). Earliest documented use: 1481.
“The room was crowded with a chilly miscellany of knick-knacks and ornaments, gewgaws, and trumpery of every kind.”
Leo Bruce; Case for Three Detectives; Academy Chicago; 1980.
“History, made up as it is of so much trumpery, treachery, and tyranny, needs deeds of valor, of sacrifice, and of heroism if it is to be palatable.”
The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond; Zenith Press; 2014.
See more usage examples of trumpery in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have three ex-wives. I can’t remember any of their names, so I just call ’em Plaintiff. -Lewis Grizzard, humorist (20 Oct 1946-1994)
It’s a wonderful world we live in, where, in the midst of doing my Lectionary readings, I can at a moment ask this wonderful machine with its access to collective knowledge: “When do you use exalt and when do you use exult?”
They sound so alike, don’t they?
And a wonderful website, Grammarist, gives me this answer:
Exalt vs. exult
To exalt is to raise in rank, to glorify, or to increase the effect or intensity of. In all its definitions, exalt is transitive, meaning it takes a direct object (i.e., you can’t just exalt, period; you have to exalt someone or something). The word’s past participle, exalted, is often used to mean elevated in rank or lofty
To exult is to rejoice greatly or to be jubilant or triumphant. It is always intransitive, meaning it does not have a direct object (i.e., you can’t exult someone or something; you just exult). The most common derivative of exult is the adjective exultant, which means marked by great joy or jubilation.
In spoken language, that one little vowel probably doesn’t make that much difference, but in written language, if you know the difference (I now do, and so do you!) it could be glaring. So I will no longer write “exaltations!” but “Exultations!” when I am expressing enormous joy.
And now, back to my Lectionary readings, which start with Psalms; here is the Psalm that interrupted my readings in search of the above. I will share it with you. I love that the author uses both exalt and exult in the same Psalm. Can you spot them?
21 Domine, in virtute tua
1 The king rejoices in your strength, O Lord; *
how greatly he exults in your victory!
2 You have given him his heart’s desire; *
you have not denied him the request of his lips.
3 For you meet him with blessings of prosperity, *
and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him: *
length of days, for ever and ever.
5 His honor is great, because of your victory; *
splendor and majesty have you bestowed upon him.
6 For you will give him everlasting felicity *
and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king puts his trust in the Lord; *
because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, he
will not fall.
(8 Your hand will lay hold upon all your enemies; *
your right hand will seize all those who hate you.
9 You will make them like a fiery furnace *
at the time of your appearing, O Lord;
10 You will swallow them up in your wrath, *
and fire shall consume them.
11 You will destroy their offspring from the land *
and their descendants from among the peoples of the earth.
12 Though they intend evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, *
yet they shall not prevail.
13 For you will put them to flight *
and aim your arrows at them.
14 Be exalted, O Lord, in your might; *
we will sing and praise your power.)
Again, from the Lectionary readings for today, the devastation of gossip and slander, particularly appropriate during this season of vitriolic campaign ads, each more disgusting than the next:
14 Slander* has shaken many,
and scattered them from nation to nation;
it has destroyed strong cities,
and overturned the houses of the great.
15 Slander* has driven virtuous women from their homes,
and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.
16 Those who pay heed to slander* will not find rest,
nor will they settle down in peace.
17 The blow of a whip raises a welt,
but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones.
18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
but not as many as have fallen because of the tongue.
19 Happy is one who is protected from it,
who has not been exposed to its anger,
who has not borne its yoke,
and has not been bound with its fetters.
20 For its yoke is a yoke of iron,
and its fetters are fetters of bronze;
21 its death is an evil death,
and Hades is preferable to it.
22 It has no power over the godly;
they will not be burned in its flame.
23 Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power;
it will burn among them and will not be put out.
It will be sent out against them like a lion;
like a leopard it will mangle them.
24a As you fence in your property with thorns,
25b so make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
24b As you lock up your silver and gold,
25a so make balances and scales for your words.
26 Take care not to err with your tongue,*
and fall victim to one lying in wait.
I have a friend who shares a love of words, and, sadly, we both love good puns. There are some great ones here, thanks for sending, KitKat!
“Lexophile” is a word used to describe those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.”
A competition to see who can come up with the best lexophiles is held every year in an undisclosed location. This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.
.. When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
.. A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
.. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
.. The batteries were given out free of charge.
.. A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
.. A will is a dead giveaway.
.. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
.. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
.. When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.
.. Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
.. Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
.. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
.. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
.. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
.. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
.. When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.
.. Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
And the cream of the twisted crop:
.. Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.
ALWAYS LAUGH WHEN YOU CAN … IT’S CHEAP MEDICINE.
I watched a woman eat a cockroach yesterday. (When did all restaurants start having TV’s in them??) It was at the worst time, I was eating lunch, and the only thought that allowed me to continue was thinking about this verse, where Jesus declares all foods clean.
Christians who are looking for where Jesus the Christ declared all things clean (halal, kosher) look to Mark 7. Today, in Forward Day by Day, the author of the meditation combines todays lectionary readings with Matthew 12:34: For from the fulness of the heart the mouth speaks.
Mark 7:15. There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.
Words are powerful. Our speech, for better or worse, can either build up the kingdom of God or attack it. We might want to dismiss the power of words, but all we have to do is look to history.
Throughout history, often before the murder of a people, propaganda started. People would listen to the hateful speech of their leader, and then they would act (or not act). “They are just words,” people would say, but those words wormed their way into a nation’s mind, allowing callousness and cruelty to grow.
At the same time, the words of great men and women inspired nations to work toward equality. Their words moved individuals to change or to act. Even in our personal lives, we can all think of those healing words of a dear friend. We can also remember the cruel taunts of bully. Words are important.
Words come from within us, and once they are released into the world, they live. Within each of us is the potential for the infliction of great harm or the gift of grace. We must choose our words carefully because our hearts, our souls, and even our lives depend upon our words.
“What are manners?”
“What is ‘nice’, what does it mean?”
“What is ‘kind’?” the most adorable little boy in Pensacola asked me. It was bath time, a time when we have some of our best conversations, and you never know where the conversation will go.
I love these conversations because I have to think, too, but most of all, because I love to watch this little boy’s mind grow in grasping concepts and perceptions. He is four; his class in school is on the letter “U” this coming week, and already he can sound out words in the books we read together. He knows what a globe is, and how it differs from a map. He knows his address, and he can point to Pensacola on the globe.
He knows things because we talk to him, and because he goes to school and his teachers talk to him. His mind is wide open and he is eager to learn, and he asks the most wonderful questions.
Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti has a new case that troubles him. He knows the dead man, not well, but he would see him in his quarter, and he often saw him helping out at the local laundry. He assumed the man was deaf and retarded, everyone knew that. When the dead man has no papers, in bureaucratic Italy, no birth certificate, no medical records, no finance records, no record of social aid (he is poor as well as disabled) Brunetti is troubled. How could such a familiar figure be so undocumented?
His mother is no help; her stories are transparent lies about travel to France and her son having grown up in the country with people whose name she cannot remember.
It is a troubling book. If you read Donna Leon, you will understand how close and wonderful and articulate Brunetti’s family is, how loved and cherished their children. We eat meals with them, we understand how the Venetian vernacular distinguishes those to whom one speaks more frankly and those to whom one lies. Brunetti’s a detective; the things he sees often trouble him, but this case troubles him more than most.
I can’t tell you more without spoiling the ending. All I can tell you is that it will encourage you to love your children, hold them closely, and give them all the benefits in their life-toolbox of attention, instruction and loving discipline that a parent (and grandparent!) can give.
If you were to overhear conversations between AdventureMan and I, you would think we are whacko. It’s a funny thing about love; sometimes odd ducks can find one another and live happily ever after, or at least, have some really good times.
The other day we were on our way to lunch, and had no great preferences for going anywhere. We made a decision (and now I can’t even remember what it was, it was such a negligible decision) and AdventureMan said he kind of wanted to eat this, and I said his want was greater than my yen . . . . and off we went.
All the way to the restaurant, we were inserting words on a spectrum and debating now and then on their proper placement on the continuum. Like is a “yen” milder than a “want?” On the far end, does “obsession” precede “compulsion?” Is a compulsion truly related to a want at all, or does being driven to something take out the want-factor altogether? Yes, like I said, we are totally whacko, and thanks be to God, often whacko in the same direction, or we would drive one another totally crazy.
(No. This is not us. This is just a photo I found online)
Here is our “want” line, from “yen” which we consider a very mild want, to compulsion, which drives out all other wants. We have probably left out some words you can think of, if you are a person who is still reading this far, please feel free to suggest amendments, or specific additions to make the line more flowing. You must defend your suggestion rigorously 🙂
yen – hankering -like – want – desire – crave – obsessing for – compulsion for
A-Word-A-Day was the very first website I ever bookmarked. I was getting my certification to teach English as a Foreign Language and my students loved words. I’m pretty good with words, even so A-Word-a-Day teaches me a new one, or a new meaning for an old one, more often than not. You can subscribe and receive a new word five days a week and a discussion at the end of the week.
This is a great word, and one I had never heard used before:
verb tr.: To relegate someone incompetent to a position of minimal responsibility.
After Stellenbosch, a town in South Africa. Earliest documented use: 1900.
Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, was a British military base during the Second Boer War. Officers who had not proven themselves were sent to Stellenbosch, to take care of something relatively insignificant, such as to look after horses. Even if they kept their rank, this assignment was considered a demotion. Eventually the term came to be applied when someone was reassigned to a position where he could do little harm.
A similar term is coventry.
Our first day in Panama City Beach, I watched AdventureMan’s head swivel 120° to the left as we drove down the main drag.
“Did you see that?” he exclaimed! “A ‘Mediterranean’ restaurant!! Woooo HOOOOOOO!”
We’ve come to learn that ‘Mediterranean’ is code for comfort food. It is not Mediterranean-Italian, or Mediterranean-Greek, it is Mediterranean like Lebanon or Syria or Palestine . . . it is comfort food.
Sigh. Or close enough. There is no machboos, and sometimes the felafel aren’t home made. Still, we know we’ll give it a try.
On our last night in town, it is the perfect night to go.
The owner is a delightful Lebanese import named Hani, and he is a word-of-mouth phenomenon on Panama City Beach. He has many fanatically loyal customers, and people recommend him all the time. We can see why. He loves what he is doing, and it shows.
His food is DELICIOUS 🙂
Everything tasted so good. We can understand how he is developing such a following – his food is really good.