The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

Archive for the month “September, 2011”

Fond memories

I stumbled across these old adverts that aired on Nigerian TV back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. If you lived in Nigeria in that period, I’m sure these videos will stir up the same nostalgic feelings in you as they did in me.

The ‘Super Visco-Static’ ad at 3:01 in the first video was one of my favourites back then and it still gave me great pleasure watching it again several decades later. It was also quite revolutionary for its time.

I apologise for the poor quality, especially if you haven’t seen these before but I’m sure you’ll still get the general gist of the adverts from what you do manage to see.

Happy viewing!

Do you have links to any of old-time or favourite ads from way back? Please do share.

Thanks for stopping by.

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These are a few of my favourite words

If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve probably heard me say it a hundred times, I love words. The dictionary describes a word as ‘a sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes.’ A morpheme is ‘a meaningful linguistic unit’ but let’s not get bogged down by definitions.

I’m fascinated by their ability to paint pictures, sculpt images and create worlds and experiences. I’m amazed at their power to evoke emotions, arouse empathy, provoke anger and jealousy, instil confidence and inspire courage. Words are intrinsically endowed with the potential to heal and hurt, build up and tear down, to help and to hinder.

It is impossible to count the actual number of English words but there are at least 250,000 and possibly up to 750,000 words in current usage. However out of these hundreds of thousands of words, I have a few favourites and I will share some of them with you.

Discombobulate – a verb meaning ‘to throw into a state of confusion’. It’s not one I use in casual conversation but I just love the cadence of the word.

Infinitesimal – an adjective meaning ‘immeasurably or incalculably minute.’ Such a large word for something so small, I love the irony of it.

Bumptious – an adjective which means ‘crudely, presumptuously or loudly self-assertive.’ This word is extremely onomatopeic, it sounds exactly like what it means.

Mellifluous – an adjective meaning ‘flowing with sweetness and honey’ or ‘smooth and sweet’. This is another word that sounds to me like its meaning.

Dulcet – an adjective which means ‘pleasing to the ear; melodious.’ This word makes me smile whenever I hear it.

Onomatopeia – a noun. ‘The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.’ I first heard this word in Oral English class in secondary school. I’ve been in love with it ever since.

Sesquipedalian – a noun. ‘Given to or characterized by the use of long words.’ I tell you, whoever came up with this word is a genius and has a fantastic sense of humour! A long word to describe one who uses long words Smile.

Sanguine – an adjective and a noun meaning ‘cheerfully optimistic, hopeful or confident.’ I love this word because it describes me to a ‘t’.

Tautology – a noun. ‘Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.’ I heard this word bandied around quite a bit when I was growing up and for a long time, I didn’t believe it was an actual word. I thought it was made up. I’ve since come to appreciate not just its ‘bona fidelity’ Winking smile but also its meaning.

Defenestrate – a verb which means ‘to throw out of the window.’ Rolling on the floor laughing This word makes me laugh. I have visions of certain people being defenestrated and it sets me off.

These are just some of my favourite words. I will hopefully share some more in another post. I hope you’ve enjoyed these.

What are your favourite words and why?

Thanks for stopping by and tara for now.

Spreading the G O _ _ _ _ ; Gospel or Gossip

Did you ever play the game ‘fill in the blanks’? The one where you were given a few letters of words and had to complete the rest? Well if you never did, here’s your chance.

I was listening to Creflo Dollar preach a while ago and something he said gave me pause for thought. He said some people like to discuss other people’s mistakes but never remember to consider the possibility that these people may have asked God’s forgiveness.

It set me to thinking that in spite of our call as Christians to spread the gospel, we tend to spend our time spreading gossip instead.

I remember a time when I was so excited about my salvation, I wanted to tell everyone I knew (and even those I didn’t) about it. I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone in my sphere of influence going to hell. I didn’t always know the right words to use nor did I always know the right moments to bring up the topic in conversation. But I made an effort to let people know what I believed and hoped that they, too, would come to share my faith.

I have to admit that it isn’t the same anymore. I find I have come to take my salvation for granted and am much less fired up about sharing my faith. I tend to hide behind the fact that people will somehow see that I am different, ask me why and then I’ll take the opportunity to tell them about Jesus. I must confess that this happens seldom these days.

When I carefully scrutinise my conversations these days, I am ashamed to say that I spend much more time talking about the goings-on in people’s lives than the gospel. This is a sad but true fact.

I started by asking if you’d ever played ‘fill in the blanks’, now is the time to actually play it. They are both six-letter words starting with the letters ‘g & o’. One means ‘good news and unquestionable truth’ and the other ‘divulging personal information about others, often malicious.’ Which do you actually spend your time doing? Are you spreading the gospel or gossip?

If, like me, you realise that you have been doing the latter, now is the time to repent and make a concerted effort to do the right thing. Ask for the grace to fulfil the great commission. Look for opportunities to share your faith with friends, family and colleagues. As with everything, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

My prayer is that the next time you get a chance to play ‘fill in the blanks’, the word will spell ‘GOSPEL’.

Safe place

I take my boys for swimming lessons once a week. One of the first things they were taught was about the ‘safe place’. They were encouraged to hold on to the walls of the pool. Their instructors explained that this was to provide the children a place to come back to should they ever find themselves in trouble in the water. If they got used to doing this, then it would become second nature to them.

I didn’t quite know what my next blog post would be about so I missed my weekly schedule. I was also getting a bit overwhelmed by all the things that were keeping me from writing. I’ve been falling behind on some of the other goals I set myself this year and it’s left me feeling disquieted and unsettled.

To settle my disquieted heart, I started to wonder what I could do to help me re-focus and get back on track. I took stock of where I’d lost my way and was reminded that I, too, have a ‘safe place’.

My ‘safe place’ is my relationship with God. I find that every time I’m out of sync with Him, my life just doesn’t make sense. Things don’t add up. I may expend all my energy doing things but all the effort seems fruitless. I find myself unable to find contentment and peace eludes me.

As I meditated on my life, a portion of Scripture which has brought me much comfort over the years came to mind. Psalms 61(AMP);

1HEAR MY cry, O God; listen to my prayer.

2From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me].

3For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.

4I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

5For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear, revere, and honour Your name.

6May You prolong the [true] King’s life [adding days upon days], and may His years be to the last generation [of this world and the generations of the world to come].

7May He sit enthroned forever before [the face of] God; O ordain that loving-kindness and faithfulness may watch over Him!

8So will I sing praise to Your name forever, paying my vows day by day.

Even though I may feel overwhelmed by life, I know that if I just hold on to my ‘safe place’, the Rock that is higher than I, I will find comfort and strength for the next phase of my life. So I’m holding on for dear life.

What, who or where is your ‘safe place’, if you have one?

Tara for now.

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