Log or Blog of Words in the News and from Other Media Sources

(a presentation of word information for your vocabulary enhancement so you can increase your brain gain and decrease your brain drain)

Confusing Words starting with Group A.

A significant effort has been made to provide important examples and content clarifications for many confusing English words starting with this first "A" group.

You are urged to take a look and see if this unit provides some guidance as you strive to grasp the similarities and differences of words in this and the following groups of words.

The only thing that isn't hard to get these days is confusion.

-E.C. McKenzie

In these modern times, the most popular secular "religion" is Confusionism.


It is believed by many that statisticians collect facts, then draw their own confusions.

-E.C. McKenzie

Always think about the words you use. Accuracy in word choice is a key to effective communication. In your daily writing, try to make sure you apply the right word for the right meaning. By doing so, its effect can affect your writing in a positive way.

-Dave Dowling, The Wrong Word Dictionary
Decibels or units for measuring the relative intensity of sounds

Are you aware of the different intensity levels of sounds? If for no other reason than for the safety of your hearing, you need to get acquainted with the information available in this decibels unit.

Intelligence is like a river; the deeper it is, the less noise it makes; and tennis is a game that can't be played without raising a racket.

-E.C. McKenzie

He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.

-Michel de Montaigne

All noise is a waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low. Wait for attention and then our low words will be charged with dynamite

-Elbert Hubbard

When the eardrum vibrates, it sets in motion a chain of tiny bones in the middle ear, the names of which we [should] have learned in school: the "hammer" (malleus), the "anvil" (incus), and the "stirrup" (stapes).

The stirrup, the smallest bone in the human body, weighs about 1/2,500 of an ounce.

-Neil McAleer in The Body Almanac

Decibels measure sound intensity at any particular frequency. Thus, a whisper from four feet away in a quiet room ranks at about 30 decibels, normal conversation about 60 decibels, a rock band 120 dcibels, and a shotgun 140 decibels.

-J.D. Ratcliff in Your Body and How It Works
Dismal, its history and its modern applications

I hope your day is not dismal; however, all of us have a bad or unlucky day, or days, now and then. The history of the word dismal should give you a better idea as to where it came from and where it has been going.

Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.

-Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher and writer (1533-1592)

Never find your delight in another person's misfortune.

-Publilius Syrus (about the first century B.C.)

We want our children to grow up to be such persons that ill-fortune, if they meet with it, will bring out strength in them, and that good fortune will not trip them up, but make them winners.

-Edward Sandford Martin

Good fortune will elevate even petty minds, and give them the appearance of a certain greatness and stateliness, as from their high place they look down upon the world; but the truly noble and resolved spirit raises itself, and becomes more conspicuous in times of disaster and ill fortune.

-Plutarch, Greek biographer and philosopher (A.D. 46?-120?)
Drinking words includig thirst and swallowing.

Being thirsty and "drinking" words are listed in this dipso- unit.

As usual, there are other units that refer to drinking which are worth seeing, too.

The larynx acts as a derailer to divert food, drink, and air down their respective tracks. When we swallow, the larynx rises causing a piece of cartilage called the epiglottis to move up and back over the glottis, the pathway for air through the trachea.

-Neil McAleer, The Body Almanac

Excessive drinking of alcohol makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.

-Robert Benchley, United States humorist (1889-1945)
Dung beetles, an essential element in natural survival

An often neglected but essential creature to the survival of all natural species is the dung beetle. Learn more about this creature and how important it is that we do it "no harm"; on the contrary, it is essential that we do whatever is necessary to maintain the survival and "healthy" growth of dung beetles because they play a vital role in dung dispersal and nutrient cycling in the global environment.

Nature's laws affirm instead of prohibit. If you violate her laws you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman.

-Luther Burbank (1849-1926),
horticulturist who developed many new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers
Earth, dirt, and related topics

Words dealing with earth or dirt can not be ignored and so today you will have an opportunity of see many of the words which are interlinked with the topic; especially, as you click on the links at the bottoms of the word group pages.

Agriculture is certainly a part of the "earth, dirt" subject, but you may be surprised to see many other applications of today's topical vocabulary.

Maybe a person's time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food.

-Frank A. Clark

Farming is known as a growing industry.

-Evan Esar
Eco is used in many words; however, did you know that it refers to "house"?

Are you aware that eco-; as in "environment" and "ecosystem" and many other eco- words are directly related to "house" and "home"?

Check the eco- link as shown above and learn about that "house" group plus many others which are shown at the bottom of each page.

The sun, the moon, and the stars would have disappeared long ago, had they happened to be within reach of predatory human hands.

-Havelock Ellis

Should we allow environmental deterioration to continue, man's fate may be worse than extinction.

-Ron S. Boster

Humans are determining their futures themselves by the decisions they make regarding their eco systems or environments.

-John Rayoa
English words come from many sources, Part 1

The English language is rich because it isn't purely English. Emerson called it "the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven". It has taken about 2000 years to evolve.

The Kelts, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Greeks, Romans, Danes, Normans, Dutch, Germans, French, Spanish, Italians, Indians, American Indians, Africans; to name just a few, have all made major contributions.

Shakespeare's word contributions include about 1,700 words, among them the following: assassinate, auspicious, barefaced, bump, castigate, countless, critical, dwindle, gnarled, hurry, impartial, lapse, laughable, leapfrog, lonely, misplaced, and monumental.

-From "Brave New Words" by Gyles Brandreth
in The Joy of Lex; William Morrow and Company, Inc.;
New York; 1980; Page 7.
English words come from many sources, Part 2

Science has contributed thousands of new words to the English language and here are just a few of them from over the years: magnetism (1616), telescope (1619), gravity (1642), electricity (1646), microscope (1656), botany (1696), zoology (1726), oxygen (1789), atom (1801) evolution (1832), bacterium (1847), pasteurize (1881), hormone (1904), vitamin (1905), and penicillin (1928).

Some war words include these from World War I: binge, camouflage, cushy, scrounge, umpteen, and zoom.

From World War II, we have: blackout, blitz, bulldozer, jeep, and wishful thinking.

-From "Brave New Words" by Gyles Brandreth
in The Joy of Lex; William Morrow and Company, Inc.;
New York; 1980; Page 8.
English-vocabulary quizzes to increase your word skills.

The emphasis is on three groups of unique vocabulary quizzes which is explained at this Vocabulary Quizzes topical page.

You can "control" the number of questions you take from one time until the next, so you don't have to do every question in one setting by utilizing the levels of difficulty. For example, if you want to do the first four levels but you don't want to start all over again with the first one, then simply start the next time with "level five" after you do the first question which will be presented.

If the questions seem to be too easy, then choose a higher level, or a "more difficult level", and proceed from there. The more often you participate in taking the three types of quizzes, the greater your chances of enhancing your vocabulary skills.

Esthesia and anesthesia, feeling and unfeeling

Esthesia refers to "feeling" but there is a great deal to learn about anesthesia or the elimination of pain. So check out this index page for an interesting history about anesthesia.

Pain, however useful as a warning signal designed to keep living organisms from damaging themselves too badly, becomes useless agony when operations must be performed.

-John Rayoa
Eye, eyes, eyelids, sight, etc.

Words dealing with the "eye" or "eyes" start with this unit of core-, coro- words with its related links.

There's a face-lift you can perform yourself that is guaranteed to improve your appearance. It's called a smile.

-E.C McKenzie
Feelings and perceptions

Are you aware of how many ways there are of feeling physical and mental sensations?

If you visit this link and follow those at the bottoms of each of the pages, you will find out that there are MANY words that express sensations some of which all of us experience at some time in our lives.

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

-Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

-Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Fingers and toes, another necessity for normal functioning

This time, the emphasis is on words that mean fingers and toes and the beginning unit is dactylo-, dactyl- plus other word families that deal with fingers and/or toes as indicated by the links shown at the bottom of each page in the unit.

Fingers are what you can count on when everything else is lost.

-Evan Esar

Fingernails are what some people file while others cut them off and throw them away.

-Evan Esar

Our fingertips are so sensitive that a single touch sensor can respond to a pressure of less than 1/1,400 of an ounce or about 20 milligrams, which is about what an average-sized fly weighs.

-Neil McAleer in The Body Almanac

Structurally, we hands are the most intricate components of a human body. In no other part of the body is so much machinery packed into so small a space.

As a hand, I have eight wrist bones, five bones in my palm, fourteen in my digits for a total of twenty-seven.

My supply of nerves to detect heat, touch, and pain is one of the most elaborate in the body. I have thousands of nerve endings per square inch, most heavily concentrated in my fingertips.

-J.D. Ratcliff in Your Body and How It Works
Fire comes in many forms with different applications

Words that come from Latin and Greek elements meaning fire are in abundance which may be seen by going to this ars-, ard- and clicking on links at the bottoms of the pages.

Fire in its various applications has been with humans for centuries and it is certainly worth one's time to get better acquainted with them.

You can get a better idea about "fire" and other related meanings when you see these additional "fire, burn" elements found in cand-, cend-; caust-, caut-; crema-; ciner-; ether-; flagr-; flam-; focus, foci-; fulg-; gehenna-; ign-; phleg-; phlog-; pyreto-, -pyrexia; pyr-; spod- (ashes; waste); and volcan- links that are located at the bottoms of each word group.

A fire is something that people try to put out before much damage is done by the fire department.

A fireman is a professional who still makes house calls; a man who doesn't have to be told to go to blazes; and the only civil service employee the taxpayer prefers to see not doing his work during his working hours.

-Evan Esar

This link will take you to the Focal Points of Information for links to other topics or subjects of interest.