Claiming someone is Ignorant can start a lot of completely unnecessary trouble.  It’s one of those words where context is always so very important.  As a self~styled grammar Nazi, I know this well. 

Considering that no one, not counting God, is capable of omniscience, it’s understood that each of us is forced to deal with many things about which he can’t possibly be sufficiently Knowledgeable.  That’s, if it’s handled well, a quite harmless ignorance.  Invincible ignorance, the kind that can’t be helped, can be excused up to a point.  It can also be eliminated, or at least mitigated. 



Vincible ignorance, though, is quite a whole nother matter.  That’s the kind that happens when someone recognizes that something scary has to be dealt with, and he chooses not to accept responsibility for it.  He chooses to remain conveniently Unacquainted with it  because it’s simply the easiest approach in the short term.  



The single worst kind of ignorance is the kind one is guilty of when he can legitimately be referred to as an ignoramus.



Over the years, very many people have often pointed out to me both that I’m exceptionally knowledgeable about things no one else has the very slightest of clues about, and that I’m quite oblivious to things everyone else knows  extremely well.  I know absolutely everything whatsoever about 1960’s history and pop culture, especially the music, but absolutely nothing whatsoever about sports.   I consider that a part of my charm.



This is my first post for Opposites Attract .


About Sempre Avanti

If you’re Italian, or at least of Italian ethnic extraction, please consider donating to Sempre Avanti’s  GoFundMe campaign. 



The organization, based in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, benefits Italians, in the United States and Italy.  Read more about it at this site:  Sempre Avanti .



Ever the instigator, Larabie couldn’t help wanting to annoy Miz Kitti.


“Wow!” he opined, “Those clouds have quite a lot of  dord!”  Trying to act as if she had a clue, his befuddled friend nodded assent.


For days at a time he used the word whenever it was appropriate, and she never got it. All the while, she played along, though she was a wreck, wondering how could she not know what it means. 



For weeks at a time he played the game and his sidekick humored him.  Day after day she politely plotted her vengeance, thinking  “Mbwahahah!!!”




Welcome back yet again to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers .  Here’s what a Dord is. This week’s photo prompt has been supplied by Douglas M. MacIlroy



burgerClem and Mabel were enjoying their weekly dispensation from their otherwise strict diet.

You know, Clem,” she announced. “This Duolingo site is absolutely amazing!”

I agree,” he admitted. “I grew up in an Italian and Hispanic neighborhood in Queens. Then when I went to St. John the Baptist High School, I took Spanish, and at Farmingdale College I took Italian. I stink at them now though, so Duolingo is my pride and joy!”


“Here’s an example of how confusing language is,” he continued. In Italian, ‘Quanto’ means ‘How much. ‘Quando’ means ‘When’, and ‘Guanto’ is ‘Goat.’ ”

“The word for ‘Ant’ is ‘Formica’, and the word for ‘Lawyer’, ‘Avocato’ is dangerously close to the English ‘Avocado.’ “


“Of course you realize,” she nudged him, “that besides becoming polyglots, by using this site we can also develop quite an obnoxious sense of humor~and we can forget how horribly fattening the food is here.” 


“That’s the important thing,” he admitted as they went on conjugating verbs and nitpicking over parts of speech.


As it was finally time to leave, Clem explained to Mabel, “Soon we can be honorary~or, should I say, ornery~Europeans.”


They walked away full and happy.


The preceding is my very first attempt at Flash Fiction For the Purposeful Practitioner . Please go to the link to find out what it’s all about.  Photo credit is : Morgue File

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.