Snow, Snow Dissipate

I just barely got around to turning my calendar over to March. The new picture is a delightful scene taken in the Bahamas. Front and center is a palm tree. It rises above a pristine white sandy beach. Just a few feet from the tree laps the crystal clear turquoise ocean.

Outside my office window, a winter snowstorm rages. Hey! I want to yell at the weather. Don’t you know that this is March?? March is supposed to be the onset of spring. At least in my book it is. To me, March coming in like a lion means wind for kite flying mixed with scattered rain that leads into those gentle April showers. Not snow! I might have to re-write a few paragraphs in my book of expectations about March. Sigh. . .

Enough kvetching. On to the vocabulary words for today!

Profligate (prof-li-gayt) is the first word. It is a noun that means recklessly extravagant. Wasteful. Spending money without thinking. Going through your paycheck as if you don’t have a care in the world (or a brain in your head. . . .) I encourage you to waste not — want not. Be a wise steward with your finances. It leads to less ulcers and less heartaches.

A second definition of profligate is utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated. Now, we all know what immoral means. Just look at Bill Clinton. But, do you know what dissipate means? Well, Dear Reader, we have arrived at our second word.

Dissipate is (dis-uh-peyt) is a verb that describes someone who is given to excessive indulgence in alcoholic beverages or someone who is unrestrained in indulgence of appetite or passion. (Hence the immoral aspect.)

It also means to spend or use wastefully or extravagantly. To squander or deplete. You can wastefully squander or deplete your finances. You could wastefully use your talents — or not even use them at all. You can dissipate your time by not being productive. (Although there are times that you just HAVE to kick back and relax and not worry about being productive. At least that’s what my husband tries to tell me . . . . . .)

Dissipate also means to become scattered or dispersed. The warmth of the sun can dissipate the mist or fog. The police can dissipate a crowd that is on the verge of violence by the use of tear gas and police dogs. Children can dissipate (and become scarce) when something is broken and mother comes to check on the noise.

These two ‘-ate’ sounding words made me think of the next word. Abrogate. (Gotta make the words rhyme today.) Abrogate (ab-ruh-geyt) is a verb that means to abolish by formal or official means. To repeal (by someone who has the authority to repeal something). A supervisor can abrogate a company policy that is either no longer needed or no longer working. Congressmen can vote to abolish different laws. (Don’t we all wish that taxes would be abrogated??) When an adolescent turns sixteen, parents can abrogate their ten o’clock curfew – and then instigate a curfew for midnight. When something is done away with, gotten rid of, revoked, or put an end to, it has been abrogated.

I would like this snowstorm to be dissipated. I want it to be abrogated. However, I don’t believe I have the power to do so . I wonder how expensive an airplane ticket to the Bahamas cost . . .


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