Vocabulary and Phrase Refresher



The areas of the brain where the wonder comes from.


#1) It has been a while since we have brought you up to date on some words & phrases, which if you were familiar with, might make you more comfortable in the maddening crowd.

PINEAL GLAND:  This is where the mind is.  It is a mass of tissue which hosts our ‘narrator’, if you will.  In humans it is the size of a pea.  In rats, it is the size of a garbanzo bean.

GYNOMASTIA:  This refers to breast enhancement in males caused by drinking beer.  If news of this gets out, it could damage beer sales – until a cultural re-alignment occurs.  Another thought might be women would start guzzling beers – except for the stomach enhancement thing.  Men, it seems, do not mind the stomach enhancement thing as much as the women do.

MORPHINE DRIP:  I have heard this phrase used in discussions of: 1)  The Fed’s interest rate change announcements  2) The next Presidential race  3) If I keep eating the way I do, this is what I’m going to get

DRIFT:  Chemicals blowing on to organic crops by the winds.

INSECTIFY:  To turn one into a bug.  (We do not know upon what occasion to use this word; but it seems a good word. i.e, “I insectify you”, “You insectify me”,  He/she or it insectifies us, I guess.  Maybe it is something Monsanto does.)

URBAN ADAPTERS:  This refers to some species such as Rodents, Bed Bugs, Cock-roaches, Ants and the like, whose existence is not threatened by the presence of man.  To the contrary, they thrive where man dwells in tightly compacted areas.  (I have not read about any ‘Rural Adapters’)

SUMMER LEARNING LOSS:  This refers to the observation that students know less at the end of the summer than they did at the beginning.  Apparently, humans have trouble retaining knowledge they rarely use.  This explains a lot, not just about students; but about everybody I ever knew – myself included.  More interesting facts: 50 years ago college was a full time, 40 hours a week job of classes and study.  Today it is 27 hours a week of classes and study. Our students of today then spend their time accordingly: 12 hours of socializing, 11 hours of computer fun, 8 hours of working for pay, 6 for TV, 5 for hobbies and 3 for other forms of entertainment.  No wonder the students have to take the summer off.

“IT IS WHAT IT IS”:  (I am hearing this refrain more and more – from people of all walks of life.)  When you hear someone say this it means:

  1. They have no clue what it is.
  2. They do not want to talk about it anymore.
  3. It is sort of a spiritual statement; but meaning a little less than “I Am Who Am”; but what it is, is still un-understandable.
  4. They can’t do anything about it.


#2) They Are What They Are

  • 1/3 of American parents cannot afford disposable diapers for their infants.  (This is a bad thing for hard working moms and dads – and does not speak well for the economic situation down on the ground.  But it is a good thing for our rivers and streams.
  • U.S. drinking water gets a Grade D in international ratings.  It used to be, “Don’t drink the water” was a statement of advice given to you when you went traveling abroad, not when you went out and about in your own country. Things change and do not remain the same.
  • A study shows 33% of American workers feel ‘engaged’ with their jobs.  (What about the other 66%?  What do they feel?) 50% of American workers say they  “…fully know what their employers expect of their work.”  OMG! That means that 50% don’t know what they are supposed to be doing.
  1. Can this be?
  2. What about the Chinese?  How many of them know what they are supposed to do?
  3. It used to be you put the coal in the hopper, collected the check and went home. Now it is different, you need to  actually acquire some sort of a skill to do the job.  I read that back in the Medieval days, if a man looking for work wandered on to a nobleman’s property, he could learn whatever was necessary to do the job – in 3 hours.  Three hours.  (Today, it is possible the worker will constantly be required to learn how to do the job.)
  • I see where we are falling behind in Math (Ranked #40 out of 73 countries studied) and are not doing much better in Reading and Science.  Articles go on to say the Chinese are better educated than we are these days – and they are willing to work for 1/5th as much as we.  (So much for their education.  On the other hand the Chinese have stopped taking our garbage – so maybe they have learned a thing or two.)
  • Some studies show teenagers look at screens almost 9 hours a day.  More studies are needed to see if this stunts, or enhances, Social and Emotional skills.

Three pieces of advice as you go forth: 1) Do not feel sorry for the lonely guy at the top; it is lonelier at the bottom. (-cem)  2) Remember: “Money costs too much. (-Anacreon & R.W. Emerson) and  3) “Don’t forget to live your life!” (-M. Sendack)

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