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)

Secrecy and hidden things are revealed here

Today you will be able to find out about "secrets" starting with the unit of crypto- plus many words in the related links.

A secret is what you whisper to one person at a time; something told in strict confidence, and repeated in strict confidence; a confidence sometimes spread by phone, sometimes by letter, but most often by asking someone not to tell it.

-Evan Esar (1899-1995)
Skin and related-skin words.

This section will be revealing family units about "skin" starting with the unit of cuti- words plus those shown in the related links that are indicated at the bottom of the unit pages.

Although seeing the word "cuti" may have you react to the topic as being "cute", don't be deceived. Some people may have cute skin, but there are several kinds of skin which may not be so pretty.

Several words may not mean skin in a direct way, but they all have either direct or indirect references to skin or flesh including the soft tissue of the body of vertebrates; mainly muscle tissue and fat.

Skin is the only thing we can occupy without paying rent.

-Evan Esar

The largest human organ is the skin, with a total surface area of about twenty-five square feet (2.3 square meters) for a large person.

All of us completely change our outer skin about every twenty-seven days. This adds up to almost 1,000 new outer skins in a lifetime.

You could wash you hands vigorously for hours and hours with soap and water, but countess bacteria would still remain. The hands, or any other part of the body for that matter, cannot be made sterile this way.

Every square inch (6.4 square centimeters) of the human body has an average of some thirty-two million bacteria on it, with a grand body total of 100 billion; which is, over twenty-two tlmes the human population on planet earth. These 100 billion bacteria could fit inside a medium-sized pea.

-Compiled from "That Layered Look: Skin to Bone"
by Neil McAleer in The Body Almanac;
Doubleday & Company, Inc.; Garden City, New York;
1985; pages 100-106.
Sleeping in its many formats and conditions

We are all involved in sleeping in one way or another; so, it is interesting to see the numerous words about sleeping that exist, starting with dorm- and the related links to other family groups.

The vigorous are no better than the lazy during one half of life, for all men are alike when asleep.

-Aristotle (384-322 B.C)

Early to bed and early to rise is a bad rule for anyone who wishes to become acquainted with our most prominent and influential people.

-George Ade

Sleep is the best cure for insomnia and something that science cannot abolish but babies can and the only thing that can keep a child quiet and out of mischief at the same time.

-Evan Esar
Smoking, from several perspectives

The subject of smoking has been around for many, many years and now you can observe some aspects of the subject from different perspectives including this famous illustrated poem "The Ballad of Salvation Bill" by Robert W. Service.

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.

-Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), English playwright, novelist, and short story writer

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.

-Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens; 1835-1910)

Smoking is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.

King James I of England (1576-1621), in his
"A Counterblaste to Tobacco"
Star Words as seen in astronomy and related topics

We have seen them and heard a lot about stars and now you can see the multitudes of words referring to them; including scientific and the "not-so-scientific" presentations.

Stars have been around for a long time and they will be here for much longer, so take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about them from various perspectives.

Long before the invention of writing or the construction of observing instruments, the sky was a cultural resource among peoples throughout the world.

Seafarers navigated by the stars; agricultural communities used the stars to help determine when to plant their crops; ideological systems linked the celestial bodies to objects, events, and cycles of activity in both the terrestrial and the divine worlds; and we cannot exclude the possibility that some prehistoric and proto-historic peoples possessed a genuinely predictive science of astronomy that might have allowed them, for example, to forecast eclipses.

Whether or not we are star-gazers, astronomy touches every part of our lives. The calendar by which we live is determined by careful observation over many centuries of the apparent motions of the sky, and our ideas of religion and cosmology are directly influenced by what we know of the patterns of the stars and planets.

-Compiled from "Astronomy Before History";
in The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy;
Edited by by Michael Hoskin; Cambridge University Press;
Cambridge, United Kingdom; 1997; page 2.
Talk, speak, tongue, and laguage words are waiting for you at the links shown in this section

One of the biggest groups of words in the Word Info lexicon is about talking and speaking starting with this alphabetical listing of cit-, citat- which will present links at the bottom of each page so you can get access to many other "speaking" units.

My father gave me these hints on speech-making: "Be sincere, be brief, be seated.".

-James Roosevelt (1907-1991).

The world needs more free speech that is worth listening to.


A good speech is one with a good beginning and a good ending, which are kept very close together.

-E.C. McKensie.
Tears in the eyes, a necessity

We all have tears in our eyes at some time or other if for no other reason than to keep our eyes in proper condition; so, here is a unit that will give you dacry- which will present words about tears and the tear glands.

There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.

-Theodore Roosevelt

A crybaby is a woman whose motto is: If at first you don't succeed, cry, cry again.

-Evan Esar

If an eye could talk, it would say, "My cleaning equipment consists of my lacrimal glands which produce a steady stream of moisture or tears to flush away dust and other foreign material.

"I blink three to six times a minute; more when I am tired. This keeps my cornea moist and clean. The tears also contain a potent microbe-killer called lysozyme, which guards me from infective bacteria."

-J.D. Ratcliff in Your Body and How It Works
Topical or group terms and glossaries of special subjects.

For a greater variety of words or terms about special subjects, visit this Get Words site or go directly to the Get Words Index page.

Translation of a fish story: My Encounter with Iktho

Another way to improve your Latin-Greek-English vocabulary:

Do you like word challenges? English vocabulary can be enhanced by translating this "My Encounter with Iktho" story.

See if you can determine the words in this story from the Latin-Greek elements shown in bold letters into simple English and then you can send me your copy of the interpreted story by e-mailing it to the address shown below; after which, I will tell you where you can find the complete translation.

You are invited to send your translation to words@wordnews.info and then, as I indicated, I will send the location of the complete results of the story so you can compare your efforts with those that exist on another location.

Translations Please, #1

You are being challenged to see if you can "translate" a series of gobbledygook or verbosity sentences which exist too often in government presentations and even too often in dictionary definitions; especially, in medical dictionaries.

So starting today, see if you can come up with a simple translation of the following three sentences. After you have compiled your interpretations, send me copies of your versions to the e-mail address indicated at the bottom of this page and I will transmit the versions indicated by Gyles Brandreth in his book The Joy of Lex from which these sentences originate.

Sentence one: There is a degree of precipitation in the atmosphere.

Sentence two: There is an obligation to work with unusually distant time horizons.

Sentence three: Basically, we are endeavoring to review the validity of the schedules.

Once again, you are invited to send your interpretations to words@wordnews.info and then I will send the simplified versions to you.

Translations Please, #2

Here are three additional gobbledygooks or verbosity sentences for you to translate:

So, see if you can come up with a simple translation of the following three sentences. After you have compiled your interpretations, send me an e-mail at the address shown at the end of this page with your presentations and I will send you the versions indicated by Gyles Brandreth in his book The Joy of Lex from which these sentences originate.

Sentence four: On initial arrival, relevant information was laid before us indicative of the conversion now being of limited duration equipmentwise.

Sentence five: A set of arrangements for producing and rearing children the viability of which is not predicated on the consistent presence in the household of an adult male acting in the role of husband and father.

Sentence six: Experiments are described which demonstrate that in normal individuals the lowest concentration in which sucrose can be detected by means of gustation differs from the lowest concentration in which sucrose (in the amount employed) has to be ingested in order to produce a demonstrable decrease in olfactory acuity and a noteworthy conversion of sensations interpreted as a desire for food into sensations interpreted as a satiety associated with ingestion of food.

Once again, you are invited to send your interpretations to words@wordnews.info and then I will send the simplified versions to you.

Trees, a poem

One of the famous poems from the past, "Trees", by Alfred Joyce Kilmer.

I should define a good poem as one that makes complete sense; and says all it has to say memorably and economically, and has been written for no other than poetic reasons.

-Robert Graves

Poetry is the most difficult thing to sell because it's supposed to be a gift.

-Evan Esar
Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool;
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.
-Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet and satirist
Truth as expressed in words

Some people are too often confusing entomology with etymology or the "true" origin of words.

When you go to the etymology link shown above, you will have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of this important field of word knowledge and be sure to click on the links at the bottom of this etym- page.

For of course, the true meaning of a term is to be found by observing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it.

-P.W. Bridgman

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it.

-Thomas Cooper (1759-1839)

It is not truth that makes mankind great, but mankind who makes truth great.

-Confucius (about 551-479 B.C.
Word a Day Cartoons by Mickey Bach

See a list of Mickey Bach "Word-a-Day" cartoons at this link: Word a Day Index for pleasure and learning.

Words at Word Info for everyone

Are you a logophile; that is, do you "love" words? Are you curious about words and interested in knowing where they came from and what happened to them in their journeys through the years (decades and even centuries)? If so, then this Word Info website is for you.

As you probably already know, English is the richest of all the languages known to mankind, past or present. It keeps churning out new words by borrowing everything, everywhere, and from everyone.

Once a foreign word is "swallowed, digested" and accepted into everyday speech, it becomes English.

The problem is that few of us can keep up with such an explosion of words, much less the thousands which have come to us from the past.

A Web Site for All People and for All Seasons

The The primary objective of this presentation is to interest all of those who want to learn more about words at any age including retirees and students (at all levels) and all of those who have curious minds and a desire to add to their vocabulary intellect.

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.


We should be as careful of our words as of our actions, and as far from speaking evil as from doing evil.

-Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
Roman statesman, orator, and philosopher

When words fail, wars begin. When wars finally end, we settle our disputes with words.

-Wilfred Funk (1883-1965)

Wilfred J. Funk reveled in words, ranked them, and made a small fortune from them. A lifelong lexicographer, he was a tireless missionary for the English language, and by the time he died at 83 last week, he had succeeded in converting many others to his cherished belief: "It pays to increase your word power."

-From "Lexicography: Words That Sizzled";
Time magazine; Friday, June 11, 1965

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