Week 1- boost Week 2- writhe Week 3- zeal Week 4- turn
“The child needed a boost to get into his car seat.” We all need a boost (help) at some time to get somewhere or accomplish a goal. Most usage of this verb is a positive motion to achieve something new or to get to a new level. The first known use of this word is about 1801. Exactly when it came into being as a proper English word is unknown. We should try to boost the use of it!
“You need a healthy boost to your bank account.” In this example sentence, we see one definition of boost that is often used. This meaning “to increase the force, power, or amount of something” is used more than its other meanings. A second meaning “to promote the cause or interests of” is another sense in which this word is used. The third meaning is one that any electrician or mechanic would recognize “to raise the voltage of or across an electric circuit.” To do something to boost the group’s morale is a good thing!
“I need to boost the voltage on my solar system from 12 volts to 24 volts.” In this sentence boost is used in the sense of increasing the power to another level. In the same sense we can “boost production” or have a campaign to “boost morale.” Any increase or plan to raise interest is also a proper use of boost. You can boost something when you raise it from one level to another. Give someone a boost today!
“Exercise can sometimes provide a boost of energy.” One of the problems as we age is the decrease in our level of energy. In this thought it is suggested that exercise can help reverse that loss of energy. Our bodies are made to be used and exercise is one method to keep them working smoothly and efficiently. We need to boost healthy activity to keep us going with eagerness. Boost your self-esteem with exercise!
There are times that our relationships need a boost. One way that we can boost a relationship that is getting weaker is by action that provides needed help or encouragement. However, it must be a relationship that you want to continue or strengthen. Seldom will a person turn down encouragement especially if it is about something that is close to their heart. Boost your friend’s self-esteem with a word of encouragement!
Return to 2015 Index
“Her patient was writhing in pain and she was unable to relieve her torment.” This patient was experiencing a condition that brought extreme discomfort. In this sentence, we see ‘writhe’ used in the sense of agitation that cannot be relieved. Writhe is a negative word that indicates uncontrollable motion to overcome an unbearable condition. You do not want to experience “writhing” in pain!
Writhe is a transitive verb that means to twist into coils or folds. A secondary meaning which seems to be used more frequently is “to twist from or as if in pain or struggling and also it means to suffer keenly.” Here we might use a word picture. Think of it as a “nest of writhing snakes.” The sense of this word is that of constant, twisted motion that cannot be still. To writhe is an action that is undulating, churning and never at peace. This kind of energy is never good!
“The prisoner was writhing in his bindings to try them and find a weakness that would allow him to escape.” In this example sentence, we see our word “writhe” giving us a hint that struggle is also associated with the meaning of this word. As the sentence indicates, the prisoner was in a struggle to see if his constraints were loose or weak enough for him to free himself. He would try like a magician to free himself from his “chains” to go free. When in a bad situation writhe a little to see if you can get loose!
“The road to Hana writhed like a snake with its many twists and turns.” OK OK, you have a question about Hana and where it is. Hana is a small town on the eastern tip of the island of Maui in Hawaii. This highway to the town of Hana is a wiggle of a road with many twists, turns, beautiful streams and bridges that cross its 48 mile length. Just before reaching Hana there is an amazing black volcanic rock national park. The Pacific surf pounds on its eastern cliffs and beaches with rhythmic ceaselessness. If you stand on the cliffs, you can feel the power of the waves beneath your feet. It is an awesome, beautiful and scenic place to visit!
“Gina’s relationships writhed in a somewhat unrelated pattern.” The thought behind this sentence is that her relationships seem to move with twists and turns that have no connection. With some people such as Gina, her interactions with other people have little or no internal attraction. Relationship interactions should make sense in some way. When they do not, as is the case here, it opens up the prospect of a convoluted incident which can become emotionally charged and dangerous. Thoughtless interactions in relationships always have explosive potential!
Return to 2015 Index
“The congressman’s ‘zeal’ and the sharp discernment of his mind shine through the language of his official acts.” A person’s zeal shows a vibrant state of mind. The tone and vibrancy of a person’s actions usually will spotlight the kind of motivation they have. Such motivation can become an overpowering force in that person’s life. It can inundate their thinking to the point of consuming them. Zeal is good, but too much of a good thing can ferment trouble!
“Whether this senator’s zeal will abate with time, is yet a question.” This word ‘zeal’ is a noun and means “an eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something.” It brings to mind someone with strong feelings about a special interest. Zeal is usually an ‘emotionally’ charged enthusiasm about some special project or ideal. It will normally manifest itself in a single-minded type of approach or determination to achieve a goal or end result. Zeal can become an overpowering motivation to achieve results!
“His zeal to finish his project drove him mercilessly.” A common question might be “How do you identify zeal?” There are some common signs that tell us about zeal. Unusual eagerness, strong and overpowering interest and ardent pursuit of a specific goal or end result are some ways to identify zeal. When one becomes so engrossed in doing something that they forgo other daily activities it is one sure way to spot zeal. Tunnel vision could be another identifying characteristic of a person’s zeal. Zeal is an unrelenting determination to see results!
“Whether his zeal for the homeless will abate with time, is yet a question.” Zeal is not a ‘timeless’ motivator. Its intensity and duration will depend upon one’s drive and the expected results. The longer it takes for the object of one’s zeal to produce results the more likely it will be that the zeal to achieve that goal will begin to weaken. Interest and enthusiasm are key drivers for one’s zeal. Time and a lack of results tend to weaken these key drivers. Check your enthusiasm level often!
“Jane’s zeal to succeed strained her relationships.” Jane is so focused upon attaining success that it has put a bias upon most everything that she does. Good relationships require balance and sensitivity in judgment. One’s bias to succeed can be harmful if it gives little consideration to the feelings of another in the relationship. Being successful is good but doing so at the expense of good relationships can produce bitterness and resentment in others. Such end results can bring a harmful environment to any success achieved. Temper zeal with consideration for your friends’ feelings!
Return to 2015 Index
“Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left.” A driver must know and understand the meaning of ‘turn’ versus ‘straight.’ It has to do with how much control a driver has over his vehicle. Many roads are not a straight line from point A to point B. A driver must know how to steer his vehicle through curves and turns to get to his destination. This word ‘turn’ though a simple four letters, has a lot of variations in meaning. We must be careful how we use it!
“The instructor asked her to turn slightly to her right.” Movement is very much a part of this word—turn. One simple definition of turn is “to move around a central point.” Turn has more than 20 meanings depending upon its use as a transitive verb or an intransitive verb. Another common use of ‘turn’ is “to cause your body or a part of your body (or some object) to face a different direction.” When you turn your life around, it is a change for the better!
“James, turn the volume down on that television.” In this sentence, we see ‘turn’ used in the sense of decreasing the sound of the television. Turn is an indicator of change. It can be around a point. It can be up or down. It can be from one position to another. The most likely symptom of change is to alter position. Turn is never static or stable but moving up, down or around from one position to another. When someone turns over a new leaf, it is a good thing!
“He turned Gotham City upside down.” To turn something is to produce a result. In this example sentence, we see that turn has produced a contrary position that is not normal. The use of turn can be an actual literal result or it can be a figure of speech to show a new or unusual condition as in the case with Gotham City. The city has not been physically turned upside down, but it shows a condition of turmoil within. Such figures of speech can convey a thought that might otherwise be difficult to express. Unexpected results can be produced when you turn something over!
“Turn a bad relationship into a good one by being a friend.” Will it work? Not always, but most of the time it will. The thought here is to look for the positive side of a person and help them to see themselves that way. A low self-esteem can be the culprit in someone who thinks badly of themselves. Being a friend and concentrating on the positives in their life can help them to re-focus on the good in themselves. Help someone turn into a new life!
Return to 2015 Index