Johnny America


More Words I Did­n’t Use To­day, But Could Have


… a few more from Ke­nai, Alaska…

Apoc­ryphal: Well-known but prob­a­bly not true, like so many facts from Pow­er­Point presentations.

Acer­bic: Ex­press­ing harsh or sharp crit­i­cism in a clever way (This is prob­a­bly the most com­mon lan­guage of Yanks; we throw it un­der our breath and hint at it in sleep tones. I wish I were bet­ter a man, but I am not)

Fo­mo­ri­an: One race of pi­rates or sea demons who raid­ed and pil­laged Ire­land but were fi­nal­ly de­feat­ed; some­times as­so­ci­at­ed with the hos­tile pow­ers of the sea (this was one that came up twice, once while look­ing at the sun­rise and think­ing about the fires and then again think­ing about the sys­tems in which we work — all the neg­a­tive folks and how over the long run it is all at­tain­able — how we can beat back the fires. There is a great quote by Mar­tin Luther King, Jr.: “Dark­ness can­not dri­ve out dark­ness; on­ly light can do that. Hate can­not dri­ve out hate; on­ly love can do that.” I have to keep this in my mind all the time while work­ing. Over and over again putting on my smi­ley face and try­ing to love every­one every­where… it is weird how this works, af­ter a while the dark­ness means noth­ing and you ac­tu­al­ly love every­one you ever meet. Hell, I get paid to do this!)

In­deli­ble: Im­pos­si­ble to re­move or for­get (My par­ents, I thought about say­ing this ear­li­er when with the small group of folks I was speak­ing with. But these words have been used be­fore and I on­ly want the folks that de­serve it to hear it from now on.)

Ox­ter: The armpit; al­so, the em­brace of arms. (This is just a fun word; throw the old ox­ter over your kin and pull them in!)

Sinis­tral: Of or per­tain­ing to the left side; sit­u­at­ed on the left hand; not dex­tral; sin­is­ter; sin­istrous (sin) (not to many folks know that the word ‘sin’ de­rives off of the fact that poor lefty’s were ‘odd’ and lat­ter we learned to love them for their dif­fer­ent think­ing… think dif­fer­ent folks)

Hot­spur: A per­son who spurs or push­es on reck­less­ly; one who is vi­o­lent. Pas­sion­ate, heady, or rash (Me.)

Filed under Dispatches on June 28th, 2019

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