When I was in school and had to write papers, I dreaded getting them back.  More red dripped from them than from a vampire’s teeth.  It seemed that my teachers were so captuous. (Had I known that word back then, I might have said something to my teachers like, “Stop being so captuous, you ninny.” Well, maybe not phrased quite like THAT…)

Captuous (KAP-shuhs) is an adjective that means having an inclination to find faults, especially of a trivial nature. That’s what English teachers do with research papers, right? Find every little niggling mistake and encircle it in the arms of red ink?  Sometimes, I wished that they were less captuous.

English teachers are not the only captuous folks on the planet. Mothers tend to be captuous about their children’s behavior and about leaving the house with clean underwear on. (Thanks, Mom. But so far, I have never been in a car accident where I would be embarrassed to have medical technicians see the sorry state of my underwear.)

Wives are captuous creatures when it comes to their spouse’s personal grooming habits. (What? I have to shower and put on deodorant before I go to the wedding?  I showered last month . . .)

Bosses are captuous aficionados.  How do I say micromanaging?

Lest you want your friends, family members, and the random man on the street think that you are captuous, you might want to lighten up a wee bit.  Don’t be so picky.  Look at the forest and forget about the trees.  You’ll win friends and influence people more if you do.

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Oh How Wormwood!

I know a fellow who is divorced.  Even though he has paid his ex-wife all of the money that the court ordered him to, she keeps coming back for more money.  Her intent is to keep making him pay for all of her wormwood experiences he has caused her.

Wormwood  [wurm-wood] is a noun that means something bitter, grievous, or extremely unpleasant.  So this woman is soaking her ex-husband for as much money as she can get because of all the emotionally painful experiences he caused her during their married life.

You can have a wormwood experience like having to speak in public or having a messy blow-up with a friend in a restaurant.  A wormwood experience could be when a loved one passes away or someone takes a part of your inheritance that you thought was rightfully yours.  Having your boss severely criticize you in front of co-workers is a wormwood experience.  Having a constantly nagging wife is very wormwood.

It’s interesting to note the use of this word in the Bible.  It is mentioned as the name of a plant that is noted for its intense bitterness.  In Amos, the Hebrew word is translated into hemlock which is a poisonous plant.  Interesting, interesting, interesting.

So, when something very unpleasant happens to you, fall into a heap, fling your arm over your forehead and moan that you can’t take any more of those wormwood experiences.  That will make people sit up and take notice!

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