Wednesday Colloquium #3: Wisdom

Some forward looking wisdom from a few years back…

2005 Labor Day Weekend 033
Photo by Ned Olson

Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Finish Every Day

The old order changeth, yielding place to new, and God fulfils himself in many ways, lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Morte d’Arthur

The discovery of new values in life is a very chaotic experience; there is a tremendous amount of jostling and confusion and a momentary feeling of darkness.

Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands (author’s note)

Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

Andre Gide, The Counterfeiters

Old houses mended, cost little less than new before they’re ended.

Colley Cibber

Your public identity is a contract you renew every day.

George DeMarest

The commonplace is shot through with new glory.

Howard Thurman, Deep is the Hunger

If everything were to turn out just like I would want it to, then I would never experience anything new; my life would be an endless repetition of stale successes.

Hugh Prather

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past

Every person born into this world represents something new.

Martin Buber, The Way of Man

A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

[the poet] unfixes the land and the sea, makes them revolve around the axis of his primary thought, and disposes them anew.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Idealism

What goals would you be setting for yourself if you knew you could not fail?

Robert Schuller, You Can Become the Person You Want to Be

Each change of many-coloured lite he drew; exhausted worlds, and then imagined new;

Samuel Johnson (of William Shakespeare)

We live our life into a new way of thinking, not think our life into a new way of living.

Steve Buitrago

There is nothing new under the sun.

The Preacher, Proverbs

Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,and gives the crutch the cradle’s infancy.

William Shakespeare, Love’s Labors Lost

Science involves groups of people sharing observations, making predictions, checking the predictions, and then making new and better predictions — all the while living in a universe that tolerates this sort of behavior.

Lucas John Mix, Life in Space

To live communally in silence is to admit a new power into your life.

Kathleen Norris, Dakota

I’ve never learned anything new from someone I agree with.

Dudley Field Malone, The State of Tennessee vs John Thomas Scopes

The more you leave behind, the more room you have to find something new.

William Bridges, Transitions

Uncle Ned’s Big Words: aphorism

My next big word is “aphorism”, that’s A 4 IS em.

An aphorism is a saying that is so smart and cool and meaningful that we are unlikely to forget it. What makes aphorism a Big Word is that, although we are likely to remember the saying, it is unlikely we will remember what to call it. We will probably turn to someone and say, “Now what would you call that saying? I think the word begins with the letter ‘A’.” Or possibly “the letter ‘E’.” Or maybe, “some vowel”. A sentence:

“Uncle Ned wishes he could come up with an aphorism right now so that he could impress you with how smart he is.”

Uncle Ned’s Big Words: coincidentally

My next big word is “coincidentally”, that’s co in si DENT a lee.

Uncle Ned will put this big word into a sentence first before trying to explain it.

“Etymology coincidentally looks and sounds a lot like entomology.”

How confusing!

Now, Uncle Ned will attempt to “unpack” the word “coincidentally”. 

Beginning a word with “co” means something like “at the same time”.

An “incident” is something that happened.

Ending a word with “ally” is a way to make a noun into an adverb.

Oops! Simplicity… What Uncle Ned meant to say is that putting “ally” at the end of a word is a way to make an action-word into an about-an-action–word.

So “coincidentally” means something about something that’s happening at the same time as something else.

Coincidentally, Uncle Ned has totally run out of anything to say about this word.

Wednesday Colloquium #2: Gratitude

Even if you don’t have all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don’t have that you don’t want.

– Abram Zimmerman (Bob Dylan’s dad), Chronicles, Volume I

I thank you for your voices, thank you, your most sweet voices.

– William Shakespeare, Coriolanus

If you are not radically grateful every day, resentment always takes over.

– Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

– Chief Tecumseh

Thankyou is such a small word.

– Unknown

This isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks.

– Mary Oliver, Thirst

To receive honestly is the best thanks for a good thing.

– George MacDonald

With practice there is nothing you cannot welcome.

– Ned Abenroth

You had to be grateful to someone who taught you not to be afraid.

– Terry Pratchett, Snuff

Gratitude is one of the first flowers to spring forth when hope is rewarded and the desert blooms.

– Kathleen Norris, Dakota

If you shed tears when you miss the sun, you also miss the stars.

– Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.

– Edward Gibbon

I’m grateful for the fear and the nearness to death that I have felt because they teach me that I am alive.

– Gareth Higgins, How to Not Be Afraid

Uncle Ned’s Big Words: etymology and entomology

etymology and entomology

And here we have two big words which are fun to confuse because they are almost homonyms (Oops! Another big word that just means two different words, with different meanings, but which at least sound the same*). True, these two words don’t sound exactly the same, but they are big words which are similar enough that most of us can’t seem to keep them straight.

If a word ends with “ology” it usually means that somebody thought hard enough, and long enough, about something, and then published stuff about it, that other folks decided that a person could get a college degree in it, like “biology” or “zoology”, or in some cases, just to make something suspicious sound legitimate, like “astrology” or Scientology”. With the truly scientific “ology” words, the meanings are often quite simple, as is the case with “etymology”. Etymology is exactly what we are doing here. It is the study of words. However “entomology” is completely different. It is the study of bugs. So if you were to ever catch Uncle Ned using “entomology” when you suspect he means “etymology”, he is most likely just trying to bug you. Example:
“The etymology of entomology is all Greek to Uncle Ned.”

* Which makes these two words not quite homophones (another big word that Uncle Ned promises to get to later). Similarly, people sometimes confuse Uncle Ned with someone else. We are all glad that Uncle Ned is not exactly like someone else.

Uncle Ned’s Big Words: onomatopoeia

My first big word is “onomatopoeia”, that’s AH no MA to PEE ah.

We will soon find out that there is much more to big words than just lots of letters. Uncle Ned’s first big word does have quite a few letters and stretches all the way out to six syllables. However, Uncle Ned is more than a little suspicious of this big word because, in Uncle Ned’s humble opinion, a proper big word should also have a big meaning. The sad fact is, we use this Big Word for nothing more than words which sound just like they mean. 

Another typical big word characteristic that this word has is a few extra vowels. Uncle Ned gets irritated when words are not gracious enough to throw in the occasional consonant so that we can count the syllables more easily.

Uncle Ned will do his best to come up with interesting, creative, if perhaps at times slightly confusing examples of each big word. For this first big word, Uncle Ned will put the example sentence into a brief conversation with his good friend Beau the cat.

“Beau, please give Uncle Ned a brief example of onomatopoeia.”