Varying Veracities

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12 Twelve-Step Vocabulary I find interesting; words or concepts to use as prompts for future posts:

  1. Boundaries
  2. Self-Care
  3. Agency
  4. Meditation vs Contemplation vs Prayer
  5. Daily Inventory
  6. Motivation
  7. Serenity
  8. Addiction
  9. Sobriety
  10. Intuition
  11. Discernment
  12. Calm

So many of the words in this list are commonly used in many spheres of human interaction.  They seem to be used with particular meanings in Al-Anon or other 12-step programs, they are sometimes used with other meanings in other forms of therapy or spiritual disciplines, and they are definitely applied to one’s own life in sometimes dramatically different ways depending on one’s particular needs for healing/ growth.  I’m interested in how I might compare and contrast the definitions and usage of these words in 12-step programs vs Catholic spiritual disciplines, and vs my needs as an ASCA.

For now, this is just a list of prompts.  When I write on any of these topics I will hopefully remember to link those posts to this one in case any of my list readers are interested in my expanded musings.

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Pardon my French!

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Cafe, cafe au lait, cafe noir; so many phrases referencing coffee come from the French.

Image result for French art deco posters

Here are a few of my favorite French phrases I use in English:

  • N’est ce-pas?  French for “right?” as in “is it not so?”
  • Mon ami.  French for “my friend.”
  • C’est la vie!  French for “such is life!”
  • Ca va?  French for “how’s it going?” or “how goes it?”
  • Je ne sais pas. French for “I don’t know.”
  • Je ne sais qua.  French for referring to an inexplicable quality.
  • Le plus ultra… French for “the utmost…”
  • Tres bien.  French for “very good.”
  • Magnifique!  French for “magnificent!”
  • Crème de la crème
  • Comme ci comme ça.

Here’s a great list of French phrases often used in English at Living Language website.

Here’s a much longer list in a well-developed article on “French Together.”

Wikipedia lists almost 500 words or phrases used in English, originally of French origin.



Write a World

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor

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Lately, I don’t seem to be able to easily write whole paragraphs.  It’s not that I can’t think extended thoughts; it’s just that I see less and less point in reflecting on much of anything.  Yet I find myself wanting to write lists.  I often write lists out of necessity, but it’s strange for me to want to write lists.  There is something in me that wants to take inventory, to take stock of what IS, as if I need to count and quantify everything.  By “everything” I don’t mean actual physical objects.  I’m thinking about my habits of thought.  I want to examine the roots of my perspectives on things, on life.

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee

Meanwhile, I also feel I need to write in order to guide or even welcome my thoughts.  And because I want my writing to be guided, I decided to restart one of the “Blogging University” classes on WordPress.  These aren’t really classes but they are helpful prompts and sometimes more detailed suggestions for topics or techniques that could be applied to any blog.  This particular “course” is called “Everyday Inspiration” and the first assignment is to write about why we write.  I think one of the assignments is going to be to write in the form of a list, so I’m going to list why I want to write at this moment:

  1. I need to see my thoughts.
  2. I want to examine my thoughts.
  3. I want to guide my thoughts toward something at least positive (as in encouraging) if not actually productive.
  4. I hope to cause some kind of growth progress in my current outlook on life.  Simply put, I’m feeling glum and I want to take my mind “by the hand” and move my perspective toward a new vista.
  5. I want to discern my current priorities.
  6. I think I’m also wanting to affirm and celebrate my own values and interior micro-culture.  So much of the external world around me feels not well-suited to me, to my spirit.  When I can’t find what I need, I want to create it or at least affirm the mind/spirit within that seeks.
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“Why am I compelled to write? . . . Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger . . . To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit . . . Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.” – Gloria E. Anzaldúa


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“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin

Big words, Big punctuation

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List of (fun) conjunctive adverbs to use after a semi-colon:

accordingly,    furthermore,    moreover,       similarly,
     also,           hence,          namely,         still,
     anyway,         however,        nevertheless,   then,
     besides,        incidentally,   next,           thereafter,
     certainly,      indeed,         nonetheless,    therefore,
     consequently,   instead,        now,            thus,
     finally,        likewise,       otherwise,      undoubtedly,
     further,        meanwhile.





via Daily Prompt: Wonder

  1. Wondering, wandering, wishing I could see
  2. On a clear day farther, furthering my sense of how I can be
  3. Nearing and naming my divine destiny,
  4. Dreaming and daring to hope, to believe
  5. Everything good will endure eternally,
  6. Remembering my Redeemer I rest in peace.

Blessed be the Lord’s Holy Name forever.

More Words About Words

Others have already put together some amazing lists of words about words.  Here are three that I think are exceptional:

  1. StartWright even made up their own word for words about words: “Nymomyms”.  Here‘s their list.
  2. ScrollSeek has an extensive list also.  I found at least a few that weren’t on other lists.  Check it out.
  3. Ragan’s PR Daily has a list of only fourteen, but there’s a couple not on the other lists.  It’s a fine list, especially if you don’t have time for the more exhaustive (pun intended) ones.

And here’s a sweet sampling for my fellow logophiles:

  1. 1. Ambigram—a word that can be turned upside down and still be read as the same word. Example: MOW or NOON  (from Ragan’s “14 Words about Words”)
  2. 2. Antimetabole—a word or a phrase that is repeated in the opposite order in the next clause or phrase.  Example: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” (from Ragan’s 14)
  3. Antanaclasis: Repetition of a word whose meaning changes in the second instance. “Your argument is sound…all sound.” — Benjamin Franklin. (from ScrollSeek)
  4. Camouflanguage: Language that uses jargon, euphemisms, and other devices to hide the true meaning of what is being said.  (from ScrollSeek)
  5. Epizeuxis: Repetition of a word with vehemence or emphasis. “Alone, alone, all all alone. Alone on a wide wide sea.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge. See: palilogy, ploce. (from ScrollSeek)
  6. paranym a word whose meaning is altered to conceal evasion    

    (from StartWright; too bad they don’t give an example.  I included it in my list of faves because I like the concept!)

  7. babblative given to babbling; prattling, prating, loquacious   

    (from StartWright)

  8. tmesis inserting a word in the
    middle of another;separation of the parts of a compound word by one or more intervening

    (from StartWright)

  9. catachresis (n) 1: use of the wrong word for the context
    2 : use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech (as blind mouths)

    (from StartWright; it’s an interesting concept!)

  10. verbivore (n) lover of words

    (from StartWright; maybe this would be better defined as a consumer of words?)

If you enjoyed these, you’re sure to find more bon-mots in the lists given above.  Enjoy!

Fifteen Fun & Friendly Phrases

Silly salutations:

  1. See ya later, alligator!
  2. After awhile, crocodile!
  3. What’s the dope, antelope?
  4. Hello there, honey bear!
  5. How are you, kangaroo?
  6. What’s up, buttercup?
  7. What’s the word, hummingbird?
  8. What’s the gist, physicist?
  9. Care to remark, meadow lark?
  10. Bend my ear, little dear!
  11. Word on the street, parakeet?
  12. What’s your spiel, little seal?
  13. Good bye, sweetie pie!
  14. What’s your tale, killer whale?
  15. Come again, little wren?

Can you think of (or make up) more fun phrases for greeting a gabby neighbor?  Share your ideas in the comments!

Words about Words


Words about words!

Words are so cool.  They are just little drawings on a page, but they can conjure up so much meaning, so much that matters so deeply to us.  Words can also be about other words.  Here are a few:

  1. Heterograph
  2. Heteronym
  3. Homonym
  4. Homophone
  5. Synonym
  6. Homograph

Wikipedia offers a Venn diagram that shows the relationship of these 6 types of words plus a few other types for which we don’t have names.  Isn’t that strange?


Colorful Vocabulary

The following links access great lists of phrases using color idioms: