seven most important words

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Seven Wonders.”

The way I see it, a rightly ordered understanding of Catholic orthodoxy has always been entirely in cahoots with a rightly ordered understanding of human nature. If I were to pick seven words, by way of which mankind could count on the best of possible hopes of people’s understanding each other, I should have to choose the names of the Seven Capital Virtues. That, of course, would be with the implicit understanding that their opposed vices should be avoided.

They are the following:

1.) Humility. Humility in others, of course, is always seemingly admired and appreciated. Usually, however, people who most demand it from others want it in a servile manner. Humility should be self-regulatory.

2.) Liberality. Generosity, lack of envy, always helps to keep things going between and among people.

3.) Chastity. Everyone knows that this one has never been easy. A healthy respect for the sexual sphere is unavoidably necessary for mankind’s survival. Today’s warped sexual mores, always defended under the guise of a supposed need for freedom and love, are intrinsically disordered and self-destructive.

4.) Meekness. Unjust unbridled anger, or wrath, accounts for all sorts of trouble.

5.) Temperance. Gluttony can be nasty. Inordinate desire for food and drink leads to a lot of medical problems, both physically and psychologically.

6.) Kindness. It’s quite a lot easier to persuade someone by way of a reasonably friendly polite nudge than by lashing out at him.

7.) Diligence. This is contrary to the sin of sloth. Persistence is the only manner by way of which anything can get done.

Of course there’s no way that restricting an entire language to only these words can possibly facilitate communication. My entire point is that in order for mankind to come to an understanding of the manner in which we should deal with each other, people simple have to come to a rightly ordered recognition and acceptance of the meaning of these words.


statism and the cultural elite

I realize that I may very often tend to get more than somewhat annoying with all my anti-liberal moments but something has simply got to be done about these anti-social creeps. I’ve just read something about how the actress Helen Mirren has recently presumed to decide that men should be forbidden to put their arms around their girlfriends’ shoulders. According to her this somehow gives the impression of ownership. Lately I’ve also noticed attempts at the left’s determination to ban words like “Bossy”, “Hysterical” and “Sassy” (offensive to women); “Black”, “Negro” and “Colored” (offensive to blacks); “Retarded” (offensive to the retarded).

Besides that we’re now also confronted with the massive immigration of moslems into Europe. Isn’t it strange that all of them are strong, healthy boys and very young men between the ages of fifteen and twenty five? Exactly where, may I ask, are all the small children, sick and handicapped, women, and old people? Those are the kinds of characters one would expect to see when a population legitimately moves under these circumstances. Where are all the starving, shell-shocked people who normally take advantage of something like this?

Of course that’s not even counting the problems with abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality. In the June 29, 1992 Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania vs. Casey”, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life….Our system presumes that there are certain principles that are more important than the temper of the times.”

He ends his paragraph with “Belief about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under the compulsion of the state.”

We simply must not let the state and the cultural elite control our lives.


“Fostoogle” is an old word that my cousin Gary first told me about when we were in our teens.  It’s new to everyone else though.  It’s an obscure word, with antecedents that go back to the Old English of Beowulf’s era.  I can imagine that characters ranging from Theodoric of York to King Arthur may have quite often said it. It means “to confuse”.  Because this word hasn’t ever caught on with the general public, I often very much enjoy shocking and confusing people by using it, ever so casually, in a sentence.  “Old friends and classmates often fostoogle me with other former friends and classmates of theirs.”  “I get so fostoogled when I have to drive through someplace I’ve never been before.”  To my chagrin, it will most probably never make the big leagues, to the point where it may fit in with such hep obscure words as “obviate” and “moot”.  It’s such an exceptionally nice word though. In today’s word, there’s always so much confusion that we may even need at least one more word to cover all its varieties.

articulate man rides again

I honestly can’t remember my ever once having used a word whose meaning I didn’t know.  My problem is often with pronunciation. I’ve been known to mispronounce everything from nomenclature to Manichean.  It appears that my track record has always been quite good with the spoken and written word. As far as I can tell, I can attribute that to the simple fact that I don’t ever presume to take any unnecessarily brave risks with language. I always take great care first to see to it that I find out exactly what a word means and only then do I use it. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been determined to be as articulate as possible.  That’s why I always try to master a word quite thoroughly before I try it on other people.  Most certainly even I must have made the occasional small error or two over the precise distinction between things like knockwurst and bratwurst, or something equivalent, but that’s about all. When we were kids in our teens my cousin Gary kept reminding me that the word “laminated” meant “covered with plastic”. It turned out that he was right but I could never be quite sure he wasn’t trying perhaps to pull a fast one on me. Life in the early twenty first century is filled with new words, some not even good enough to be worth bothering with, for me to have to get to know. We now live in the land of bling, wii and wi fi. I try to avoid bothering with those kinds of things. Unfortunately though we’re stuck with them. I shall take my time attempting to figure them out.

someday someway maybe you’ll understand me

I should like to think that if somewhere over the course of the first few decades of the sixth century, an archaeologist of that era were to stumble upon the remains of my life, and to find my things all entirely intact, he would be able to say that early twenty first century man possessed some exceptionally interesting means of communication and of transportation, and that we were quite the snappy dressers.  By then, of course, man may no longer use the same words we do to describe things, so they may not recognize, at first, all the things they find.  There’s always the risk that people of the future may be a bit snobby about all they will then have.  They will still have to admit, though, that man in the beginning of the twenty first century had all kinds of advantages, about things pertaining to communication, transportation, cleanliness and style.  There would also be the matter of all my reading material, most of which is from the world of liberal arts and the humanities.  Judging by what someone can find out from only my supply of literature, people will then end up assuming that man during our day was quite seriously interested in things like history, literature, philosophy and theology. They will also have to assume that music made quite a significant kind and degree of difference to people of our day. Everyone knows about my profound interest in many different musical styles. Most significant with me specifically may be my insatiable obsession with the past.  People of the future will be forced to get the impression, from the looks of life in my world, that life during our era was significantly steeped in reflection upon bygone times.  If someone finds any references to me specifically as an individual, I should expect him to go away pondering the once-upon-a-time world of a literate, articulate square with a penchant for the offbeat.


downloadI have absolutely no idea whatsoever of what might be the perfect example of a word that sounds like what it describes.    It’s occurred to me,though, that
“tangerine” might be quite a good example.   Somehow I get the distinct impression that if a visitor from some environment where people have never heard of tangerines were to come here and to be confronted with one of these citrus fruits, he may be quite pleased by the resemblance of the symbol to the thing itself.     The tangerine, quite similar to the orange and the clementine, seems, from the looks, feel and taste of it, to properties that could be very easily distilled into its name.     It’s orange in color.   The sound of the word has a somewhat similar feel to that of the word, “orange”.      It’s such a pleasing sound that matches up to such a nice object.    I have no idea of  what could possibly provoke this effect in a word, other than a lifelong association of the sound with the appearance.   All I know is that although a total newcomer to the concept of tangerine couldn’t possibly be expected to be capable of seeing it from that kind of point of view, its till makes sense to me that from my point of view it’s quite an inseparable connection.

learn a new language

I don’t know whether there’s any one thing I should desperately like to do which I have never done before.   It would be really nice, though, if I could either learn to speak another foreign language or learn to speak Italian and Spanish better than I already can.    I took three years of Spanish at St. John the Baptist high school and two years of Italian at Farmingdale college.   That’s not counting the two weeks of German I took in junior high school, at the beginning of the seventh grade.    It would be quite an exceptionally interesting experience for me to be able to be as fluent as possible in Italian and Spanish, or even to start another language entirely.    As far as I know there most probably isn’t any insurmountable obstacle that’s preventing me from studying at least one language intensely, except for the fact that I haven’t made a definitive decision to do so.    Because of the internet I now have lots of connections in several foreign countries.    I’m constantly being confronted with phrases, sentences and even entirely passages in books and periodicals, that are in foreign languages.    I have quite an interesting time looking up the translation of each passage in order to see what it means but it would be especially good for me if I could understand things like that really well without having to bother to cheat.     In the city I live in, Long Beach, New York,   there is an intense Hispanic population.     Sometimes I have to talk to someone who spontaneously rambles on in Spanish and it gets me crazy.   I still have no idea why so many Hispanics never bother to learn English in an English-speaking country.     If there’s anything that would make things easier for me these days, it’s to become proficient in a few languages.    At least I can be reasonably certain that I’d be able to handle it.

about punctuation

I happen to think I have quite a sufficient mastery of punctuation without significantly over-or underdoing anything.    Never having felt terribly comfortable with semicolons , I virtually never get any siginficant mileage out of them.   I just looked up the definition of semicolon and it’s virtually the same as a period anyway so what’s the point of bothering.     It connects two independent clauses.    One form of punctuation I flatly refuse to get suckered into is quotation marks.   Of course, they’re legitimately mandatory under certain circumstances.    My complaint is the stupid “quote/unquote” craze that has so captivated people for the past very many years, even decades, by now.    Occasionally while proofreading something I’ve written, I catch a major mistake with commas.    That can be very easily remedied.   Hyphens can come in quite handy every once in a while but I can’t say I’ve ever gone overboard with them.    Since I’m quite happy with simple declarative sentences, and see no need to bother with the superlative case very frequently,  exclamation points have never held any especial charm for me.     If I have something to say that strikes me as significant enough to emphasizePunctuation Pyramid it, I can always resort to either italic or bold faced font.     Grammar can be quite a mercilessly nasty taskmaster.     Punctuation problems are enough to drive anyone crazy.   I take my time and bluff my way through it as well as possible.

talk talk

There may be at least a few words or phrases upon which I rely entirely too heavily but I can’t think of any specific examples that really drive me crazy.    What I so bitterly despise is all the left wing Orwellian self-serving newspeak today’s cultural nabobs are incessantly trying forcibly to cram down the backs of our throats.    Since when, may I ask, should I care one way or the other if women, minorities (blacks, Jews, etc.), sexual dysfunctionals or other leftist darlings find my speech or behavior offensive.   It’s in no way my responsibility to keep them entertained.    Language is supposed to be used as a vehicle for the transmission of the truth, not for bowing down to their ugly agenda.

 Besides that I also get nauseated like crazy by such conversational junk food as

1.) actually


3.)worst case scenario

4.)split infinitives

Between the politically correct characters who conveniently assume somehow that I owe them something because their coloring is darker than mine, their religion is different, or their sex/sexuality is different, and all the generally inarticulate incompetents, it’s truly a nightmarishly tough problem for me.

my obsession

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been compulsively articulate.   As a kid in Queens and Suffolk County I was inevitably the undisputed spelling champion of both counties.    My parents were both from northeastern Pennsylvania, and I was raised in New York, having lived here since I was around three and a half years old, so my very earliest memories are of their having been such a drastic distinction between the two accents, and of all the colloquial words and phrases that distinguish them from each other.   Things weren’t so defiantly obvious in Lindenhurst but all throughout the time I lived in Jackson  Heights I was overwhelmed by accents from Brooklyn, the Bronx and other parts of New York City.   Besides that, a third of the people in my neighborhood were Italians who only spoke Italian, and Hispanics who only spoke Spanish.   Having always been inordinately smitten with all the distinctive twists and turns that exist in language anyway, somewhere over the course of my very young days I embarked on what would become a lifelong determination to be exceptionally articulate.    I’ve always been the Felix Unger of the spoken and written word, what many would refer to as a grammar Nazi.    In the eleventh grade at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, I did an oral report   about the Beatles one day in my English class.   My teacher, Sister  Mary Hostetter, O.P., reminded me of my mistakenly having said that something happened between, instead of among, the four of them.    To this very day I still cringe when I think of it.    I’ve always been quite a compulsive bookworm too so that helps me keep up my familiarity with language, and it also helps drastically to improve my vocabulary.    By now everyone knows quite well that nothing nauseates my like liberalism.   One of the many reasons for my contempt of the entire concept is the fact that its proponents presume to take for granted some supposed right to take charge of how our language is to be spoken.    Language is supposed only to be used as a vehicle for the transmission of the truth and not as a means of manipulating people’s perception of things and ideas.    Supplanting nouns with adjectives  (as in “male” and “female” instead of “man” and “woman”), and replacing certain words with others that are entirely irrelevant to them ( rejecting “problems”, “handicaps” and “arguments” in favor of “issues” and “challenges”) only serves to distort people’s perception of things.    They claim that groups such as blacks, Hispanics and Indians supposedly have a right to be referred to as African, Latin and Native Americans, although no such right can possibly exist.   A right, by definition, is something that is unavoidably necessary for the sake of survival either as an individual or a member of a group.    timthumb    Language, in its legitimate form, has all kinds of exceptionally interesting properties.    Imagery and influence can come from anywhere including the mechanical world, the sciences, religion and politics.     People’s names can even become words.   Examples of these range from Spoonerism to Machiavellian.    Pop cultural references also find their way into people’s speech patterns.  The first appearance of the word “Nerd” was in Dr. Seuss’
“If I Ran the Zoo”, as the name of a character in 1950.   It was then brought back into prominence by the television show, “Happy Days”, in the 1970’s, as a synonym for “square”.  Over the course of the past several years it has gotten a lot of mileage as someone who is exceptionally good at math and the hard sciences.    Language is an exceptionally important and interesting concept and it’s unavoidably necessary to apply conscientiously all the rules that are required to speak and to write it well.   Similarly to music or any other field of endeavor,  there must be a legitimate balance between creativity and strict discipline.     For me it’s always been so exceptionally enjoyable and interesting, as well as quite a major priority.    I realize that it’s also yet another  part of my life in which I tend to qualify as quite the neurotic but that’s not necessarily such a bad thing.    It keeps me from becoming stale and ordinary.