A Perfervid Football Fan

The football team of the university that I work for recently played a rival university’s football team. As has been the custom in the past, our team won in the remaining seconds of the game. (That was something that a previous football coach seemed to do with great flair!) Those intense last few seconds of the football game have given many perfervid football fans great anxiety as the ecstatic euphoria of winning and the depths of despair of losing do a wild tango dance with their emotions.

Perfervid (er-fur-vid) is an adjective that means very fervent, extremely ardent, impassioned. It describes a person that is zealous or someone who is characterized by intense emotion. And, boy, let me tell you, emotions are intense at those rival football games!

Perfervid could also describe someone who is passionate about writing novels, or flying airplanes, or dancing. I know a lady who is really into herbs and home remedies. She is perfervid in her feelings that herbs can cure anything. I also know people who are perfervid about home schooling. They have strong and intense emotions about homeschooling their children. We go Jeeping a lot and some of our associates are passionate (perfervid) about going 4-wheeling in their Jeep. There are perfervid patriots, perfervid animal rights activists, and perfervid environmentalists.

Now, I’m not saying any of this is wrong or that I am against any of the afore mentioned activities. I’m just saying that these people are extremely ardent and passionate in their beliefs and feelings in those areas.

So, if you know anybody who is extremely passionate about something, you could consider them a perfervid. But be careful. If you call them a perfervid to their face, they might think you’ve called them a bad name. You might have to give a hasty explanation before they get offended and punch you in the face!

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At this time of year, our thoughts turn to (or at least they SHOULD!) to those less fortunate. To helping out those in need by donating food, clothing, gifts, and toys to various charitable organizations to bring some warmth, comfort, and happiness especially to the ragamuffins in the world.

A ragamuffin (rag-uh-muhf-in) is a noun used to describe someone, especially a child, in ragged, dirty clothes. Sometimes a child could be a ragamuffin in looks (especially after a delightful time spent in the mud) without being a child in a destitute situation. When you go tent camping for a week, your son might come home dirty and disheveled because he was able to have fun out in nature while escaping a nightly visit to the bathtub. Sometimes our sons have come home from Boy Scout camp looking very much like a ragamuffin!

The other day, I received an e-mail with some pictures and statistics of the amount and type of food Americans eat in comparison to other countries around the world. I thought that I would share just two of the them here with you (since today’s word could aptly describe some of the children in those families).



At this time of year — and then all year long! — may you reach into your pocket to do what you can to help ragamuffins around the world live a better life. Every little bit helps.

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Walking a Recalcitrant Dog

This morning my walking partner decided to bring her dog along for a walk. This was the second time in a year that the dog had been on a leash and on a walk with us. So, it goes without my saying much that the dog wasn’t even a smidgen trained. It was a recalcitrant dog — and no, that is not the breed of dog!

Recalcitrant (ri-kal-si-truhnt) is an adjective that means resisting authority or control. Not obedient or compliant. Hard to deal with or manage. This dog definitely resisted control. Obedience and compliance were not in its vocabulary. At the end of 3 miles, my friend felt that her right arm had been pulled out of its socket and was eleven feet longer than her left arm.

Children can be recalcitrant when asked to do their chores. They are resistant and rebellious about the whole job thing. Recalcitrant perfectly describes a toddler because every parent knows that toddlers are stubbornly disobedient.

Sometimes I feel my hair is recalcitrant when I’m having a bad hair day because my hair has a mind of its own, is not obedient, and resists all my feeble attempts at styling it.

At the end of the Civil War, the southerners were recalcitrant because they didn’t want to be under the authority and control of the northern states. During the 60s, there were many civil rights demonstrations because the Blacks were resistant of the controls that white people had over them.

Recalcitrant can also refer to some medical conditions such as cancer. In this type of a situation, recalcitrant means not responsive to treatment. Sometimes warts or mononucleosis are recalcitrant because they are both difficult to get rid of.

Back to walking the dog. Maybe for the sake of my friend’s arm, the dog needs more training before it comes along next time. . .

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A Coterie of Co-Workers

Today, staff meeting was a wee bit unusual. (My employees keep telling me that I need to watch the TV show ‘The Office’ . . . .) We had wanted to have a Thanksgiving party. But, finding a time when all my student employees could make it to a ‘party’ during the day between their class schedule and work schedule was nigh on impossible. So, that’s when we came up with the idea of partying . . . er I mean ‘training’ at our staff meeting.

We each brought food for a taco feast.  (Did pilgrims on the Mayflower eat soft shell tacos and taco salad??) One employee brought in Dance Revolution and one brought some Wii games. We ate. We danced. We boxed. We played tennis. Fun! Little did any of us want to put the games away and clean up the food when it was time to get back to work.

One of the benefits (besides the calories consumed) was that this activity helped to strengthen our camaraderie and helped to create a coterie. Coterie (koh-tuh-ree) is a noun that means a group of people who associate closely, an exclusive group, a clique. My employees are an exclusive group. The group is limited to only those who work for me. They associate with each other during the work day. This ‘staff’ meeting helped to bring them together in a fun activity to develop a friendship, a relationship as ‘people’ and not just simply co-workers.

If you do many activities with friends, your group of friends is a coterie. If you belong to a book club, those folks are your coterie. If you belong to a 4-wheeling club, those folks with whom you bounce and jounce around on 4-wheeling trails are your coterie. So a coterie is (usually) a small, often select group of persons who associate with one another frequently. (This could even be your family — as long as you associate with each other on a regular basis!)

How many coteries do you think you are a part of??

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A Logophile and a Rapacious Reader

The other day in an attempt to describe myself, I said that I was a logophile. Someone who likes logos? you ask. Someone who likes logs? Blimey, no!

A logophile (law-guh-fahl) is an adjective that means a lover of words or a word buff. This should be obvious to those who read this blog and listen to my podcast. I collect words. I buy books about words and their definitions — books that aren’t dictionaries. I love to play word games like Boggle and Scrabble and Taboo. I have a ‘word of the day’ on my fridge to help me learn those new words that I collect. I use those new words in my conversations with friends, acquaintances, and the random guy on the street. I try and teach them to my walking partners. (But who, at 5:30 a.m., is ever mentally attuned to learning??? But that doesn’t stop me from trying . . .)

‘Logos’ comes to us from the Greek and means word or speech. Then anybody who is ANYBODY knows that phile means friend or lover. Words are my friends and I love them. Most of the time — until I stick my foot in my mouth!

Part of being a logophile is due to the fact that I am a rapacious reader. Rapacious (ruhpey-shuh-s) is an adjective that means ravenous, voracious, inordinately greedy. So that means I’m a voracious or an avid reader. I’m always reading something. Got a stack of books by my bedside. A few at work. My bookshelves are overflowing. Might have to get more. Shelves AND books!

Someone could have a rapacious appetite meaning that they crave,desire, or eat large quantities of food. It could also means subsisting on prey such as wolves, or sharks, or buzzards do. Someone might figuratively subsist on prey such as loan sharks, or someone trying to make some quick money of unsuspecting people, or oil companies.

I hope that my blog helps you develop a taste for learning new words!

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