Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quick Quiz: What’s Wrong With POTUS's Use of the Idiom “A Shot Across the Bow” in the Context of the Proposed Military Strike on Syria?

Earlier this week, while talking about his intent to take military action against Syria in response to that nation’s recent use of chemical weapons, POTUS (i.e., Barack Obama) told PBS interviewers Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff: “…in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we will send a shot across the bow...”

Keeping in view that the intended U.S. action will be, at the minimum, the firing of cruise missiles to destroy several Syrian military sites, Obama’s above statement is a misapplication of the idiomatic expression “shot across the bow.” Do you know why? 

Tune in to this blog tomorrow for the answer.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

Friday, August 30, 2013

Vocabulary Enhancement Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

The latest edition of “Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, has been online for about ten days. The six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, “The Articulate Professional-3rd Edition”):

1. munificent
2. contretemps
3. narcissism
4. apartheid
5. languid
6. dissemble

Sunday, August 18, 2013

An Encomium for a “People Person”; Simply Worded Praise that is Perhaps One of the Most Elegant, Imaginative, and Indelible You've Ever Heard!

Among the outpouring of tribute for William H. Gray III, the famous pastor and lawmaker from Philadelphia who died last month, was this elegant and imaginatively worded statement from the current mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter:

“He knew guys on the corner, and he knew Nelson Mandela and everyone in between.”

I believe the above sentence, short and simply worded and yet so evocative and stirring, can serve as a model or prototype for praising someone who is the quintessential “people person,” i.e., someone who has made an effort to connect--and succeeded in doing so--with just about every human he or she has encountered, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal