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Sunday, February 5, 2017


I like words.

               change; mutation; mutability.
A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected. ~ Samuel Johnson 

               given to changing; constantly changing; fickle or inconstant:
Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

               a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
              a government or state in which the wealthy class rules.

I’m hard pressed to find quotes which show these words off in selfevident, crystal clearedness. These are important, useful terms but, in the past, tended to be used only by pedantic, political junkies with Ph.Ds. I'm now hearing (OK, reading them) all over the place.

Asked about Supreme Court cases like Citizens United, Jimmy Carter smoothly, understandly used the word.
It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. (source)
Old Tommy Jefferson managed, without using the P word, to express the concept well:
Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
             government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
i.e.: what we don’t got, anymore, here in the good ol’ USA.

             extremely irritable or easily angered; irascible:
If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him. ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War 

             readily angered; peevish; irritable; quarrelsome
The mood on Wall Street remained cautious in the wake of president-elect Donald Trump’s fractious press conference... (source)
All definitions from

I’m also very fond of slang:
BAM (Scottish) Below Average Mentality
Bogan (Australian) redneck, an uncultured person (think – person who supports our BAM president)
Sky Pilot (Irish) Absurdist catch-all insult Away to hell you feckin' sky pilot!
Keener (Canadian)  a brown noser or suck up. (see Chris Christie)
Damp Squib (British) Something that fails on all counts. 
Pakaru (New Zealand/Maori) Broken not working (Mike Pence and the rest of the party-before-country Republican party)
Balampalampam (Barbados) very large buttocks (AKA Darth Cheeto’s face – not to diss or ruin a perfectly good word!)
Guai lan (Singapore) Literally – "Strange penis" in Hokkien means someone who is very hard to deal with
"Our moment of crisis didn’t begin with the election of Donald Trump,” she (Elizabeth Warren) said. “We were already in crisis. We were already in crisis because for years and years and years, Washington has worked just great for the rich and the powerful, but far too often, it hasn’t worked for anyone else."

“People don’t just wake up one day and elect leaders like Donald Trump because ‘hey, everything is awesome, but what the hell, let’s roll the dice and make life interesting,’” she added. (source)
A man on a thousand mile walk has to forget his goal and say to himself every morning, 'Today I'm going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Surely she had endured enough for one evening without having to listen to intelligent conversation?
~ Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm


  1. Japanese has a good slang term for a yes-man or toady: kingyo no kuso, literally "goldfish shit". It's a reference to how a goldfish's shit tends to follow the goldfish around in the fishbowl.