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         Pivotal Points

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“No one keeps up his enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspirations, new efforts, new vision. It is one’s own fault if his enthusiasm is gone; he has failed to feed it.”


Word of the Day


Victor Borge - Inflationary Language


Judy Vorfeld, in the Communication Expressway [] writes:

Diana Hacker, author of "A Writer's Reference," states that there are four kinds of sentences, each with a different purpose. She says that we use declarative sentences to make statements, imperative sentences to issue requests or commands, interrogative sentences to ask questions, and exclamatory sentences to make exclamations. Here are some sentences I put together that reflect her comments.

DECLARATIVE    It's better to be safe than sorry.
IMPERATIVE     Obey the speed limit.
INTERROGATIVE  How do you feel about chocolate?
EXCLAMATORY    It's snowing in Phoenix!

Hung By the Tongue

 Some people just have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. They are being, "Hung By the Tongue!"


Wordcount - Tracking the Way We Use Language
"an interactive presentation of the 86,800 most frequently used English words." Search by specific word or by rank number and find it and the words that follow it in rank, which makes for some interesting combinations, for instance, LibraryLivedFitProgressBelieved.

Business Buzzwords That Make You Gag

Readers wrote in with their nominees for this column's first-ever Most Annoying Lingo awards (the Mallies). Find out which phrases they would like purged from our professional conversations.

Words and trivia

A wide-ranging collection of odd words and trivia about language. Try the history of "dord" on page one, and then try to stop browsing through the rest.

Grammar and Punctuation for the Web: What's Proper?

Most of us were educated to believe that there is one "correct" (and fairlyformal) version of English grammar and punctuation, and any deviation from
that is mere sloppiness. Not true! The whole point of grammar and punctuation is to enhance understanding - not to enforce rigid conformity.
Read on ...

Tautology too

If you get annoyed with people who delight in using tautologies (or even those who have not got a clue what they are talking about) have a look at the absolutely essential site at the Pleonasms or Tautological Redundancies website list.

Explore English Words Derived from Latin-Greek Origins

A program of Latin-Greek cross references that will enhance your English-vocabulary skills and word studies!

Experience the wonder of vocabulary words by focusing on the Latin and Greek prefixes, roots, and suffixes used in English vocabulary.   Visit the site


"Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way."

Eileen Caddy



Words of the Heart

It is said that one can miss the meaning of life by 18 inches: the average distance between the heart and the brain. Try shortening that distance by identifying the following words.

1. cordate: (a) taking on the sound of a heartbeat; (b) taking on the rhythm of a heartbeat; (c) shaped like a heart; (d) of the heart.

2. cockles of the heart: (a) the core of one's being; (b) the principal involuntary-muscle tissues of the vertebrate heart made up of striated fibers joined at usually branched ends and functioning in synchronized rhythmic contraction; (c) the chest conceived of as the seat of the emotions and intimate feelings; (d) deliberate display of emotion for effect.

3. digitalis: (a) the blocking of a coronary artery of the heart by a thrombus; (b) the dried powdered leaf of the common foxglove; (c) hair tonic for the would-be heartthrob; (d) paralysis of the thumbs, fingers, and toes.

4. hearty: (a) giving unqualified support; (b) capable of withstanding adverse conditions; (c) intrepidly daring; (d) marked by originality and verve.

5. heartstrings: (a) the two middle strings of a six-string guitar; (b) a string of beads; (c) the deepest emotions or affections; (d) the characteristic speech of a region, locality, or group of people.

6. sweetheart neckline: (a) a round collarless neckline; (b) having a diagonally overlapping neckline or closing; (c) a wide neckline that extends toward the tips of the shoulders; (d) a neckline for women's clothing that is high in back and low in front where it is scalloped to resemble the top of a heart.

7. artery: (a) any of the tubular branching muscular- and elastic-walled vessels that carry blood from the heart through the body; (b) any of the smallest blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules and forming networks throughout the body; (c) any of the tubular branching muscular- and elastic-walled vessels that carry blood to the heart from the rest of the body; (d) an abnormally dilated and lengthened vein.

8. atrium: (a) the central room of a Roman house; (b) a many-storied court in a building (as a hotel) usually with a skylight; (c) either of the chambers of the heart that receives blood from the veins and forces it into the ventricle or ventricles; (d) all the above.

9. major suit: (a) either of the suits hearts or diamonds having superior scoring value in bridge; (b) either of the suits hearts or clubs having superior scoring value in bridge; (c) when Buffett sues Gates; (d) either of the suits hearts or spades having superior scoring value in bridge.

10. poblano: (a) a large heart-shaped tortilla made of corn and filled with tomatoes; (b) a large usually mild heart-shaped chili pepper especially when fresh and dark green; (c) an atypical sound of the heart typically indicating a functional or structural abnormality; (d) Spanish for love problem.

Answers: 1:c 2:a 3:b 4:a 5:c 6:d 7:a 8:d 9:d 10:b

Rate Yourself:

1 to 2 correct:
3 to 5 correct: TRY HARDER.
6 to 7 correct: OH BABY.
8 to 9 correct: NOT BAD.
All 10 correct: U R HOT!


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  Bronwyn Ritchie's Pivotal Points