Vocablet of the Day: Humility

Pope Francis was elected in March of 2013, and it didn’t take long for people to realize that there was something different about him.

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Pope Francis has gone a different way from previous popes, choosing to live more simply and with the quality or state of being humble.

Pope Francis' chair, on the right, shows his humility even in his new station.

In the past, popes have lived a life of luxury that comes with the highest position in the Catholic Church.  Pope Francis, demonstrating his humility, has chosen instead to keep his clothes simple and to live in the Vatican guesthouse rather than the large papal apartment.

Do you think Pope Francis’ humility makes a statement?  What kind?

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Vocablet of the Day: Anomalous

For over sixty years, this triangular region of the Atlantic Ocean has claimed hundreds of ships in ways that cannot be explained… or has it?

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Ships can sink and airplanes can go missing at any time, but there’s one place on Earth that draws a suspicious number of disappearances that are strange and difficult to identify or classify: The Bermuda Triangle

The area of the Bermuda Triangle are not exactly defined, but it is generally said to exist between the tip of Florida, the Bermuda Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Most official organizations do not recognize the area, and some people say that many of the stories of anomalous disappearances and occurrences in the area are untrue.

Knowing the stories of the Bermuda Triangle, would you travel within it?  Or would you keep on the safe side, staying away from the whole region and its stories of anomalous, and fatal, incidences?

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Vocablet of the Day: Estranged

Making amends with family members is never easy, but when you’re a celebrity, constant attention from the media makes it that much harder.

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Relationships between family members can become strained for many reasons, sometimes to the point where you can’t even speak to each other and are no longer together with your loved one.

Lindsay Lohan, famously troubled actress, was estranged from her father for many years due to problems in their relationship.  When they tried to work things out, a media frenzy made the reconciliation overly public.

Are you estranged from any of your family members?  What kind of situation could cause you to become estranged from your parents or siblings?

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Vocablet of the Day: Debacle

There’s nothing worse than watching referees make bad calls when your favorite team is playing.  Unfortunately for NFL fans, that’s been happening far too often lately.

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Bad calls from temporary officials have led to frustration from players, coaches, and fans alike — turning every NFL game into a complete collapse or failure.

The NFL officials are on strike, which means there are substitutes taking their place.  The subs clearly don’t know what they’re doing, making bad calls and causing collective groans from football fans across the United States every Sunday.  When will the debacle end?

Remember the debacle when the player from Real Madrid dropped the Copa del Rey trophy in front of the team’s bus?  What other sports debacles can you remember?

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Vocablet of the Day: Tautology

It’s vitally important to be concise and to the point in language, avoiding and eschewing unnecessary repetition and redundancy.  (If you think that sentence has something wrong with it, read on to find out why!)

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Clear language requires using as few words as possible to get your meaning across, avoiding needless saying of the same thing twice in different words.

'Prepay' means 'to pay in advance.' This sign is twice as long as it needs to be because it contains a tautology!

What do you think an ‘action sport’ would be?  Don’t all sports, by definition, involve action?  That’s why the term ‘action sports’ is a tautology — the same idea is expressed in the word ‘sports’ by itself.

“Short summary” and “necessary requirement” are two more examples of needlessly saying the same thing in different words.  Can you think of any others?  How many can you find in this post’s first sentence?

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Vocablet of the Day: Convene

This year, the Olympic Games fall during the month of Ramadan, when many Muslims fast during the day.  What does this mean for Muslim athletes?

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With athletes of all cultures and beliefs participating in the Olympics, the issue of Ramadan coinciding with the Games is important enough to call together a committee specifically to discuss it.

I have to wonder why the International Olympics Committee didn’t convene a council about  this problem in the months before the Games began.  Still, it’s good that a group was convened to talk about this important problem.

The convene-Muslim Athletes Vocablet highlights the unfortunate scheduling problem of Ramadan and the Olympics occurring at the same time, and what is being done about it.

How do you think Olympic officials should handle this?  Is convening a committee enough?

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Vocablet of the Day: Oblivion

When you’re walking down the street, smartphone in hand and earbuds in your ears, how much are you aware of what’s going on around you?

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Smartphones, iPods, PDAs… all of today’s hand-held technologies are so fascinating that they can actually put us into a state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening.

It’s okay to slip into oblivion when sitting safely at home with your iPhone, but that trance-like state can be dangerous on the street.  Pedestrians who fall into “iPod oblivion” might not notice sidewalk hazards, traffic, or other pedestrians, putting themselves at risk

The oblivion-iPod Danger Vocablet highlights the problem of focusing too much on technology instead of paying attention to your surroundings.

Have you ever experienced iPod oblivion?  How do you think you can avoid it?

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Vocablet of the Day: Altercation

Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan can’t back down from a fight… even at his own wedding.

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Weddings are meant to be peaceful, happy events, but Hulk Hogan’s wedding took a dramatic turn when a member of his entourage got into a noisy heated situation or quarrel with a member of the paparazzi.

The altercation happened because the camera-holder was trying to snap pictures of Hogan’s big day.  No punches were thrown, however, so the altercation ended without violence.

The altercation-Hulk Hogan Wedding Vocablet highlights the drama possible when celebrity bodyguards and paparazzi clash.

Actor Johnny Depp once hit a member of the paparazzi with a wooden board.  What other celebrity-paparazzi altercations do you know of?

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Vocablet of the Day: Predilection

Technology is an incredible, useful, potentially life-changing tool… but those changes are not always for the better.

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Technology is becoming a bigger and bigger part of many people’s lives, but when does this preference or special liking for something go too far?

Our predilection for helpful, innovative technology that keeps us informed and connected is no surprise.  However, this same predilection, if it gets out of control, can become an addiction.

The predilection-Technology Addiction Vocablet highlights the problem that some people have with technology, needing to be constantly connected and experiencing real withdrawal if forced to go without their favorite gadgets.

How strong is your predilection for technology?  Do you know anyone who is tech-addicted?

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Vocablet of the Day: Soporific

Sometimes, not even an energy drink is enough to keep you awake — especially when there’s alcohol involved.

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These guys know all about alcohol's soporific effects.

The humorous image of some partygoers falling asleep with all their clothes on after a night of drinking is evidence of the fact that alcohol has a tendency to cause drowsiness or sleep.

College students looking to party late into the night mix alcohol with energy drinks to fight alcohol’s soporific effects.  However, even though they’re wide awake and not succumbing to the soporific alcohol, they need to remember that they’re still impaired.

The soporific-Energy Drinks Vocablet highlights the trend of partygoers to mix booze with energy drinks in hopes of dancing till the sun comes up.

Some say that warm milk also has soporific effects.  What other foods or beverages can you think of that could be called soporific?

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