It often happens in arguments with the general public that people ask for an empirical example of whatever economic (or political) principle I’m attempting to explain. In truth, it’s sometimes worse. They ask for an empirical example, but really they are appealing to authority under the guise of wanting a
Yesterday I was musing about writing a new post. Specifically, I wanted to talk about the difficulty inherent in writing on political topics. This difficulty stems from a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the reaction you will get from people who don’t agree with you. The
Yes, this is still the no-so-Weekly Word. But this word will pretty much define 2013 if only because it is one of the words that the great mass of unwashed people totally misunderstand. It is also a word you will hear bandied about by fools who imagine that if only
Ok, this one caught my attention on Wikipedia because of some of the inane opinions on the Talk page. Now, never mind the conversion to an “ism” – as both autodidacticism and autodidactism are indeed words – and with that I’d like to remind people that just because your spell-checker
I just discovered this one a short time ago while working on an article about language. Here’s the definition based on the Wikipedia entry: Polysemy: the capacity for a sign, word, or phrase to have multiple related meanings. It is usually regarded as distinct from homonymy, in which the multiple
Yes, I know. My Weekly Words are sporadic. I’m working on that. Here’s one now: Corollary. A good one to follow up a priori, a corollary is a proposition that follows without any additional proof from one already proven. I think of it like this: If I can say therefore, it’s
I watch a lot of TV. I know, I know… it rots your brain, right? Well, it certainly can, and the reasons behind that are two-fold. First, if you are a child, or the type of person who prefers not to reflect on things, you can be easily swayed to
The weekly word is back! Once a week I will define and/or explore a new word in the search for more precise meaning in the English language.
As I was working developing a website and blog for a friend’s business, something occurred to me. It was just a minor observation, but one that got me thinking and you might find it interesting. It is something that has probably, at least fleetingly, come to the mind of everyone
I’m currently reading “For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization” by Charles Adams and I happened to come across this quote, which seems rather appropriate for the times. Thomas Jefferson, an Anti-federalist, believed that (tax) rebellions every twenty years or so were “good medicine”
The words universe and atom originally had very specific abstract meanings. Universe referred to “everything that exists” while atom referred to the “smallest indivisible constituent of matter” (from the Greek philosophy of Atomism). Over time these abstractions became concrete in their meanings. As the science of physics progressed people came
A polymath is defined as a person of great or varied learning. The first person that comes to my mind when I hear this word is Ben Franklin – because the word evokes for me specifically a person who’s knowledge is both deep and varied – in essence a generalist.
To many Americans the first thing that will come to mind when they hear this word is the cloudy object that sometimes develops in the eyes of older people and usually has to be removed. But there is another meaning for this word that you might not be so familiar
Ever noticed that a lot of non-American book publishers print their book spines upside down? Those of you who read books published by both American and foreign publishers may have noticed that many foreign book spines are upside down. No offense, but they ARE upside down. One would expect that
For years I had seen this particular word in print and never bothered to look it up. Basically, in French it means “pinch nose”. Makes sense, right? From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Difficult Words: a pair of eyeglasses with a nose clip instead of ear pieces From A Passage to India