Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
“Depression” refers to severe and typically prolonged feelings of despondency and dejection.
“The depression the young girl felt over the death of her boyfriend caused a profound downward spiral in her grades at school.”
“Oppression” refers to prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.
“The decades of cruel and heartless oppression by Idi Amin caused untold sorrow among the population of his country.”
“Repression” refers to the action of keeping under control, of subduing someone or something by force.
“The repression of a free press is a constant in controlling the proletariat in communist China.”
“Suppression” refers to putting an end to the activities of a person, a practice, a publication or a movement.
“Suppression of any form of dissent is one of the first marks of a dictatorship.”
I was reading a story in my local newspaper today, and the word “precedence” caught my interest, and I began to wonder whether or not the word was being correctly used.
“ ‘Year after year, the top reported expenditures usually top out at $1 million or $1.3 million. This is without precedence, from what I have seen.’ ”
“Precedent” (n.) refers to an earlier event, action or judicial ruling that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.
“When Paul Henderson recorded ten goals and assists in one game he set a precedent of hockey skill that has never been repeated.”
“Precedence” (n.) refers to priority or the establishment of status in order of importance or urgency or to the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else as in priority in importance, order or rank.
“The needs of the people of a country should take precedence over the building of grand estates by repressive dictators.”
“Little” can be used in the sense of “small in size”.
The comparative form is “littler” or “more little”.
The superlative form is “littlest”.
“We measured the height of the two boys and Tom was littler that Peter.”
“There were Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear who was, of course, the littlest of the three.”
“Little” can be used in the sense of “small amount”.
The comparative form is “less”.
The superlative form is “least”.
“There was less water in the glass on the left that was in the glass on the right.”
“Of the three weight-watchers, Mary lost the least when they all weighed-in at the end of the week.”
“That” is a relative pronoun that normally refers to things but can refer to a class or type of person.
“Those are the type of girls that would brazenly lie to their mothers.” (Class or type)
“Which” is a relative pronoun referring only to things.
“Biology for Dummies is a book which I need for my new class.”
“Who” is a relative pronoun referring only to people.
“She is the professor who will be teaching the class.”
“Rationale” is a noun referring to a set of reasons or to a logical basis for a course of action or belief.
“The rationale for severely cracking down on hockey players who go after their opponents’ heads is well-documented in the number of concussions pro hockey players are experiencing when hit so violently.”
“Rationalization” is a noun referring to an attempt to explain or justify behaviour or an attitude with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate or correct.
“The rationalization for continuing to smoke is constantly debunked by health officials in an effort to save people from near-certain cancer in later life.”
A PROFOUND CONCEPT
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States who lived from 1882 to 1945, said this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Proletarian” (adj.) means low-class, inelegant, vulgar or of the working class. It meant the people who did not own property in ancient Rome. It can also be a noun.
“Anodyne” (n.) refers to a medicine that can relieve pain, a palliative. It can also be an adjective.
“His back hurt so much that he took a double dose of his anodyne to try to relieve the pain.”
“Somnolent” (adj.) means asleep, at rest or slumbering.
“The old sod on the park bench was somnolent and reeked of cheap wine.”
“Slumbrous” (adj.) means placid, untroubled, quiet or at rest or in a state of inactivity.
The origin is Middle English alteration of the Scots and northern English word “sloom”, meaning the same thing.
“The slumbrous old hippy spent much of his daily life floating through his memories.”
“Vindicate” (v.) means to show to be right, to justify, to excuse , to exempt or to relieve.
“Vindication” is the noun form.
“Vindicatory” is the adjective form.
“The lawyer was sure that the lack of facts and motive would serve to vindicate his client of the crimes he had been accused of committing.”