Obviate and Fracas

Well, I’m finally finished teaching my educational psychology class for the semester. Huzzah!! That has been a very time consuming activity which took much of my spare time that I would have normally spent in creating podcasts for this site and writing entries here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write on a more frequent basis now.

Recently, I was in a meeting when one of the participants used the word obviate. Never heard of it. Went to the dictionary (the online kind of course and not the paper kind). It’s a pretty useful word so I thought that I would share it here.

Obviate (ob-vee-yet) is a verb that means anticipate and dispose of effectively. Render unnecessary. Prevent. If you brush your teeth regularly and make sure you also floss, you will obviate the need to have fillings (hopefully). Meaning it would not be necessary to have fillings. If you exercise, drink plenty of water, eat well-balanced meals, and eliminate empty calories from your diet, you will obviate the need for dieting. Dieting would not be necessary.

If you have a good project manager at work, she can obviate scope creep on projects. You will prevent scope creep from happening. And that’s always a good thing.

If you plan in advance, you can obviate unnecessary shopping trips when you are preparing for Christmas. And that is good. I don’t know anybody who willingly enters the shopping fracas more than necessary.

Fracas (frey-kuhs) is a noun that means a noisy, disorderly disturbance or fight. Riotous brawl. Uproar. That’s a pretty good description of what shopping is like on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. (I avoid shopping on those days like the plague!)

Sometimes your children can get into a riotous brawl or in an uproar. That would be a fracas. Sometimes at football games, players get upset with the other team’s players or with the referee’s call. Words are spat out in anger. Fists start flying and before you know it a fracas (fight) has started.

At this time of year, you can always warn children to cease any of their fracases because if they continued that would obviate Santa’s coming!

Posted in New Words. Comments Off on Obviate and Fracas
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