PICAYUNE — Words can set a tone for a situation, alter someone’s perception of an individual or group — in short, there is power in them. The Bible cautions, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” — Proverbs in 18:21, ASB. With that in mind, I will be focusing on words, some recently used and some obscure, to test the readers and build on what you already know. There will be theme weeks, for instance next week will focus on words involving wine — for no particular reason! So try your vocabulary skills with the following and see how you score. I’m always open to suggestions for material. 1. pu·ta·tive (pyoo’-t-tiv) adj. Are you the putative leader of your group, organization or team? What does the word “putative” mean? Is it: A. Damage inflicting B. A website code C. Assumed or generally accepted 2. mal · a · prop · is · m (mahl-ah -prop- iz- im) noun Are you a habitual malapropist? If so, would you be: A. A structural demolitionist B. Someone who misuses homonyms C. A drama queen Answer to question 1: You are the putative leader of your group, organization or team if you exhibit leadership which is accepted and followed even though you are not the elected or appointed leader or president. Choice C is the correct choice. The word is best defined as purported; commonly put forth or accepted as true on inconclusive grounds, according to www.vocabulary.com. Answer to question 2: The group at http://www.merriam-webster.com give the definition as “the usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase; especially the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in the context.” Choice B is the correct choice. In this case it is the best answer, as some drama queens are known malapropists. The site also gives the first known use of the word malapropism as 1849 with the origin of the word based on Mrs. Malaprop, a character noted for her misuse of words in 18th century playwright R.B. Sheridan's comedy “The Rivals,” 1775. If you engage in the occasional malopropisms, you would be in good fictional company. Along with Mrs. Malaprop, there have also been characters in both television and film who specialize in the unwitting technique. “Well I try to look at the bright side. I guess you could say I’m an internal optometrist,” said Steve Carell as Barry in “Dinner for Schmucks,” 2010. Archie Bunker of the “All in the Family” 1970s television series, was noted for saying, “A witness shall not bear falsies against thy neighbor.”
Rural homeless less obvious
As we transition from the traditional Thanksgiving feast into the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget that there are those for whom Thanksgiving and Christmas are just another day.
Budget can kicked down road
Many people take pride in defying the conventions of society. Those conventions of society are also known as civilization. Defying them wholesale means going back to barbarism. Barbarians with electronic devices are still barbarians.
MSU to host historic reunion game
Over the Thanksgiving holidays, the eyes of many Mississippi sports fans will be on the 86th renewal of the Egg Bowl football game between the 7-4 Ole Miss Rebels and the 5-6 Mississippi State University Bulldogs.
Still room for pragmatic Republicans?
We have a young friend who ran the Young Republicans during her college years and now works for a GOP consulting firm. She’s a loyal party member, but she has a problem. She’s from New York — her father and grandfather were both New York City cops — and she feels increasingly alienated from a party whose center of gravity has moved steadily to the South, the West and the Right.
Real health insurance not told
So here’s my advice: If you’re somebody who’s smoking hot about the Big Lie of the Affordable Care Act — you know, how President Obama told everybody that if they liked their current health insurance policy they could keep it — do yourself a favor. Avoid the county fair midway.
Half a boat came with other half attached
In a long and checkered career of finagling to live near water, I have owned a houseboat, two sailboats, stink boats, pontoon boats, canoes, rotten boats and a pirogue. Since the day at the county fair when my father lifted me into a toy boat traveling in circles in impossibly blue water, I have loved boats. Any old boat.
There’s lots to be thankful for in Mississippi
My annual thanksgiving column is the easiest of the year to write, because we have so much to be thankful for.
Collecting sales taxes for online sales fair
Back on April 25, the U.S. Senate by a vote of 63 to 30 passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, a measure which would empower states to collect sales tax on out-of-state online purchases. The bill would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales.
The bill now awaits action in the House Judiciary Committee, where a number of Southern Republicans — usually reliable “no new taxes” members — are expressing support for the legislation.
CBS should come clean on ethical lapse
CBS correspondent Lara Logan apologized on “60 Minutes” last Sunday for that program’s deeply flawed account of how four Americans were killed at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi. It turned out that their primary source, a government contractor named Dylan Davies, was never at the compound and lied repeatedly about his role in the whole tragic episode.
City, county plan for growth
Every economic development entity, every chamber of commerce and every regional economic alliance talks about growth, new jobs and ways to bring increased prosperity to their locales. But in Corinth and Alcorn County, their leaders are not just talking about growth — they’re planning for it.
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