Week 1- hush Week 2- jaunt Week 3- lilt Week 4- mint
“A hush fell over the auditorium as the lights went down.” This week’s word is a simple one: hush. It is an antonym of “noise.” In our example sentence, we see that it is an example of ‘reducing’ activities like conversations, and movement before an expected action. A ‘hush’ gives us less noise as we enter a time of being quiet. Hush is to give full attention to the focal point of the audience!
“The teacher hushed the children as they entered the library.” The primary meaning of ‘hush’ is to make (someone) quiet, calm, or still. Two more secondary meanings are also used: a) to put at rest or mollify, b) to keep from public knowledge or suppress. The intent of this word is to reduce sound levels to that of stillness or calmness. The use of ‘hush’ is to produce tranquility or sereneness. Hush your mouth and don’t reveal secrets!
“The storm passed, and a hush fell over the sea.” A storm can bring roaring wind, flashes of lightning and boiling clouds. After the storm passes the quiet stillness brings a sense of calm tranquility. It is a welcome hush for things to adjust to the aftermath of the raging tempest. As we go through life, we also welcome the hush after a stormy period. Use that hush to rejuvenate!
“The judge hushed the spectators.” There are some occasions when asking for quietness is the standard expected. The courtroom is one of those areas. In a court of law, the judge has the right demand that conversations and comments be minimized from the spectators. This is one of the few remaining areas in which order and respect for authority are still maintained. Our society is fast approaching the tipping point for disintegration. A hush of respect for authority is a sign of an organized society!
“Keep your personal activities in a relationship hush, hush.” The interaction between two people in a relationship is their own personal knowledge. To reveal intimate and personal actions is to violate the trust in that relationship. If both parties are in agreement about what can be told and what not, it avoids causing the trust in the relationship to become fragmented. Lack of such trust is the cause of many relationship breakups. Respect the other person and keep your intimate activities under wraps!
Return to 2015 Index
“Our state Senator took a jaunt on the voters’ money.” In this use of this week’s word, we see it used for questionable means. If the trip was to confirm or research a relevant subject, it might have useful means. In the Senator’s case, he would be required to file a report with the subject and its intended purpose stated. If that cannot be done then it must be a pleasure jaunt!
“We took a leisurely jaunt up to the mountains for the day.” The meaning of jaunt is simple: a brief trip taken for pleasure. It is a noun and seldom is it used as a verb. The first known use of jaunt is in the late fifteenth century. Some synonyms are outing, sortie, and spin and it rhymes with gaunt and flaunt. The gaunt old man took his old car for a short jaunt across town!
“The class took a short jaunt to the state capital.” The meaning of jaunt is usually “as short pleasure trip.” However, in this case, I doubt that the students took ‘pleasure’ in making this excursion to the state capital. Learning can be pleasurable but I doubt that this class all saw it as fun. But in this case the kids might have seen it as pleasurable not to be in school. Remember don’t flaunt your jaunts unless they are truly exceptional!
“I like to take a jaunt into the woods to hunt.” Jaunt contains within it the idea of going out and coming back in. In that sense, it is different from the idea of ‘trip’ which may or may not be coming back to the origin point. Nor is the idea of a ‘long’ time contained within the sense of jaunt. It will normally be a circular type of outing of short duration that will return to where it started. Don’t let your jaunt get out of hand!
“My wife and I took a jaunt to the city today.” Doing things together is part of a relationship. Being with someone and enjoying the time is important. In a friend relationship, you may not get to spend a lot of time with that person, but when you do it should be meaningful. Make it a point to be positive and caring. These are the things that make lasting memories. Take that jaunt and enjoy!
Return to 2015 Index
“Her British accent had a charming lilt to it.” Most of us have an accent that is common to where we come from. But an accent with a lilt, that springy movement of words, is not quite so common. A lilt to an accent means that in speaking, that person will have a rhythmical swing or flow in speech patterns. Many times it comes as a subconscious voice inflection learned in childhood. A lilt can tell a hidden story about you!
“Think of your favorite tune with a lilt.” Our word this week is fairly simple. Lilt has three meanings: a spirited and usually cheerful song or tune, a rhythmical swing, flow, or cadence, and a springy buoyant movement. Lilt can be used as both a transitive and an intransitive verb. It shows action is a specific way. Get your lilt moving today!
“There was a charming lilt to her voice.” With this example sentence we see that “to sing or speak rhythmically and with fluctuating pitch” is another meaning of lilt. In this case, rhythmically and fluctuating, are the key indicator signs that ‘lilt’ is at work. It will often show up in stage and screen productions as a character identifier. The first use of lilt seems to be in the late sixteen hundreds and is often associated with a person’s accent. A lilt in one’s accent is a sign of distinct character!
“The familiar lilt of her accent was still present.” As with the British, the Irish can also have a lilt to their accent. This speech characteristic can help pinpoint the particular region that a person is from. Such identifying features make it hard to falsify or mimic those speech peculiarities. Most people with a lilt learn it at an early age. Protect your lilt!
“Put a lilt in your relationship!” How you might ask? Find a lively cheerful song that you both like and make it ‘your’ song. Or, do some little rhythmical swing or cadence in some of the things you do to make it different. Add a special movement when you dance or listen to special music. Use your imagination to find something that will add distinct flow to something ordinary that you both do. If nothing else, just put a lilt in your kilt, Scottie!
Return to 2015 Index
“He owned a coin collection that was worth a mint.” In this expression ‘worth a mint’ we see this week’s word used to denote financial worth. Metal coins such as silver and gold are often used for money. They are made of precious metals and in specific size, weight and denominations are used as a store of financial value. However, in our digital age, they are being used less as money and more as a collector’s item. Uncirculated coins are often referred to as being in “mint” condition and carry a higher value as a collector’s item. Keep your finances in mint condition for greatest value!
“She was a Southern Belle who liked to drink a mint julep.” We see in this sentence ‘mint’ used as a flavoring for a drink. Mint as a flavoring is one meaning, but there are several other meanings. Mint is a fragrant plant used as a flavoring in culinary dishes. It is also a plant where something is manufactured, usually coins. It is also used in the sense of a vast sum of money. To be in mint condition is a way of saying that it was produced new but never used or circulated. Collect your mint and keep it fresh!
“My mother was a gardener and she liked the smell of mint.” This plant was easy to grow. The mint family, Labiatae is an aromatic plant with a square stem and a 4-lobed ovary which produces four one-seeded nutlets. They are very useful for cooking and decorations. Some even have medicinal value. The smell of fresh mint from the garden is one of my favorite memories!
“His son loved the taste of mint candy.” Mint candy is very refreshing to the taste. As a flavoring, it is desirable. It can also be used in flower arrangements as part of its decoration. Mint brings to our minds the thought of fresh and new. That thought is also the idea of things that are made in a mint. They are bright, sparkling and have the smell of newness. Things that are new and fresh looking or fresh smelling contain the idea of being in “fresh mint” condition. Whether in taste or sight, being in mint condition is desirable!
“Guard your relationship and flavor it with mint.” A relationship without flavoring of some kind will wither and die. A negative flavoring will also kill a relationship. Genuine love is the best flavoring one can have for a relationship. It casts out fear. It is long-suffering and patient. It goes the extra mile when things get tough. It stands firm in adversity. It is never selfish but seeks to up lift one another. Hold it fast because it builds a mountain of good memories!
Return to 2015 Index