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Week 1- swallow Week 2- temper Week 3- will Week 4- steadfast Week 5- unruly


“Some of the Democratic candidate’s campaign promises this year are hard to swallow.” Free college tuition for students is what one Socialist candidate is promising. How is this going to be paid for and who is going to pay for it? We have a trillion dollar debt now and this outlandish campaign tactic is unrealistic at being fulfilled. Yet, the gullible young people believe this impossible promise will be a reality. What kind of story will the voters have to swallow to get this done!


“When will the swallows return to Capistrano this year?” The use of ‘swallow’ in the noun form usually describes a small forked-tail, insect eating bird of the Hirundinidae (swallow family). As a verb, it means to take food or drink into your stomach through your mouth and throat. Historically the first use of this word originated about the 12th century in Middle English and some say came from a similar German word of that era. Be careful what you swallow whether it is a bird or something you eat!


“He swallowed hard and his eyes blinked rapidly upon hearing the news of his brother’s death.” The subject in this example sentence is exhibiting a symptom of repressing his feelings. He seems to accept without question, protest or resentment the difficult news that his sibling has died. The actions of “swallowing hard” and “eyes blinking” give us clues as to his state of mind. He is taking the tragic news of his brother’s death without much outward expression. He has swallowed this bad news pill very stoically!


“Today, it seemed harder to swallow than before.” My sister-in-law lost her mother yesterday. It is hard to lose a parent. It does indeed make it hard to swallow when the one who brought you into the world dies. It leaves a hole and an emotional scar in your life. Somehow you need to find a way to cope with the loss. That is never easy. Where can you get the strength to get up and go about life with such a bad taste in your mouth? It does indeed make it hard to swallow!


“Swallow hard and take that first step to make a new relationship.” Sometimes in relationships, we need to make the first move. Find something that will be a good icebreaker and use that to open a conversation. After the initial move, it is often easier to get to know a new friend. It may take a bold, risky move on your part to make a new contact. Once done, the rest will be easier!

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“He showed none of the avaricious temper so common among the politicians of the time.” Temper is one of those things that show us a variety of conditions. Avaricious is a word that means to be greedy and money hungry (as in the example sentence). The temper of the mind is sometimes a nebulous thing. It covers a range of meanings from bad to good. Be sure your temper is a good one!


“He has a bad temper.” Temper has a variety of meanings. One of the most common is the state of being angry. Another is to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else. A third meaning is to make stronger and more resilient through hardship. Temper is an English word that dates back to about the 12th century. Another and less used sense of the word is to indicate an even and calm state of mind. Being even-tempered is always a good thing!


“The company used a new process to temper the metal for the gun barrel.” In this example sentence, we see temper used as a ‘process’ for hardening steel to make it extremely strong. As a process, temper can also be used to add something to clay to make it more cohesive. Glass is another substance which can be tempered to make it stronger. Life itself can also temper us to make us stronger. Let the “storms” of life temper you in the right way!


“Judge Harvey always seemed to temper justice with mercy.” This we do not see very often in our justice system. Temper in this use is one of moderation within the context of its meaning. Here temper is used in the sense that it is “to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else.” We see that what is added has changed the meaning of temper to make it less extreme. Without the additional descriptors, temper can be a harsh word. Don’t let your temper make you a bear!


“The old prince was in a good temper and very gracious to Pierre.” This should be the key thought in any relationship “to be in a good temper.” How many relationships has a bad temper destroyed? Many a love affair has ended because one of the parties’ had a bad temper. Another thought in the example sentence is the idea “to put in tune with something.” In relationships being ‘in tune’ is a very important concept. Keep your temper in check for better relationships!

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“A democracy is government that reflects the will of the people.” Do we have a democratic government in the U.S. today? No. We have a “media-ocracy.” It is government that is run by rule of the media. How do we know? Political polls and orchestrated talk show interviews determine what and how politicians do things. Once elected, politicians tend to forget the “will of the people” and vote for what will keep them in power and in a favorable media spotlight. The “will of the people” no longer has the meaning it once did!


“He has no will of his own.” The transitive verb form of will has seven different meanings and the transitive form one. In the example sentence, we see will used to express determination, insistence, persistence, or willfulness in the negative. Will is also used to indicate a legal document as in “last will and testament.” Will may also indicate futurity as this example from Tennessee Williams states “tomorrow morning I will wake up in this first-class hotel suite.” The first know use of will dates back before the 12th century. Will is also used to express a command, exhortation, or injunction. You will do it today!


“I have made up my mind to go and go I will.” In this sentence, we see ‘will’ used to express determination, insistence, persistence, or willfulness. This is another meaning and way that our word “will” is used. It may also be used in the intransitive verb form to indicate a kind of preoccupation, or obsession. This word has a variety of meanings and ways that it can be used. As an English word, it is very useful and gives an assortment of definitions in the way one can utilize it. Any of us can be successful if we will all do our best!


“She made a will only days before her death.” A last will and testament is a legal document. It is a document that expresses the final wishes of the owner and how he or she wants their physical assets distributed or shared with surviving family members. An ill-prepared will has been the center of many family squabbles after the death of owner. Always prepare a well prepared will so that loved ones will know what you want done with the things you own. A will may not always be easy to do but is necessary for loved ones to know your wishes!


“She will do everything possible to stay in his good graces.” This is not a good idea in many relationships, but staying in tune and willing to give a little at times is a good thing. The negative thought in the example sentence is to “do everything” which means that good sense may go out the window. Good moral values are very important in most relationships. Therefore, to “do everything” may mean forgetting one’s values and common sense. Giving those up is not a good thing. Make it your will to do the right thing!

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“He stood steadfast in his support of the Senator’s policies.” This week’s word ‘steadfast’ is one that many in politics today do not understand. To stand with someone through “thick and thin” takes strong character. In today’s political arena it is more about media popularity that being steadfast in what one stands for. It is more about “What do the polls say and am I reaching the largest audience that I can.” Standing solid for one’s integrity and beliefs is fast disappearing. Be steadfast in what you say and do!


“She was a steadfast supporter of women’s rights.” The simple definition of steadfast is “very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause: not changing.” There are a couple of other meanings that are often used, as in firm in belief, determination, or adherence. This word dates back to the 10th century. It was originally used in the sense of warriors who stood their ground when under attack. As early as the 13th century, the idea of being immovable as to devotion, belief or loyalty was also included. Be steadfast in your loyalty!


“The general was one of the most steadfast friends of President Roosevelt.” Steadfast here implies a steady and unwavering course in allegiance to the president. The president is one in authority and must have other power figures that are devoted and loyal to him. Their loyalty must be steadfast and unchanging. A president who lacks such steadfast friends is in jeopardy of creating a power vacuum of leadership. A power vacuum of this kind can put a nation at risk for weak, unsavory, and destructive leadership. Know who your leadership is and pledge your steadfast support!


“Environmentalists are steadfast in their support of protecting nature.” To be steadfast can be a good thing, but it can also have its negative impact. Environmentalists are many times ‘steadfast’ about what they believe and do even when it doesn’t make sense. Things that we believe and do should have a positive impact on humanity. It should improve life for all humans. To do something even when it brings harm to human beings is nonsense and fails to improve life for most of us. Be steadfast in believing and doing things that have a positive impact on human nature!


“As brother, as husband and as friend, his affections were as steadfast as they were warm.” The thought in this example sentence is the essence of what relationship means. It is what makes a relationship successful. The focus of actions is not self-centered but outward to the other party in the relationship. “Steadfast” is the glue that makes the connection between two people strong and lasting. To be steadfast is a mindset that takes effort and attention. Include it in all your relationships that you want to last!

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“This year’s election seems to produce unruly crowds who inhibit free speech and may be a sign of coming disintegration.” The primary function of government is to protect and provide for its citizens. The occurrence of ‘unruly’ crowds at candidate rallies and organized events shows that our government is weak and indecisive in dealing with law breakers. This inability to ‘keep the peace’ is an indicator of a breakdown in law and order. If unchecked, it will lead to the destruction of the United States as a nation!


“Back when I was in school, unruly pupils were given detention as a matter of course.” The most used definition today is “not readily ruled, disciplined, or managed” some examples are: an unruly crowd or a mane of unruly hair. Interestingly this word was first used in the 15th century and comes from Middle English unreuly, from the prefix un-+ reuly which meant disciplined, as in rule. Ungovernable and headstrong are two synonyms that help define unruly. Don’t be guilty of being unruly in your actions!


“Patton was known in his youth to be a somewhat unruly Army officer.” Although he was a brilliant general he still had his problems with upper echelon commanders over him. His headstrong character kept him at odds with high-level Army command staff. Some symptoms of his unruly character were willfulness and unbridled actions. He was not a docile slave to “by the book” Army staff!


“Like a wild horse, he had a mane of unruly hair.” We see in this example sentence what is commonly understood as being unruly. Lack of discipline or being improperly managed is the normal end result of unruly. Lack of guidelines or not staying within the legal limits is what we see of an unruly character. To stray outside the law is characteristic unruly behavior. Curb your tendency to be unruly!


“Unruly relationships can be hazardous to your sanity.” Unruly relationships cause stress. Stress is one of the most often underlying causes of heart attacks and strokes. Do your best to resolve the causes of unruly conditions in your relationships. As a last resort, end unruly relationships as they will impact your life negatively. Life has too many unexpected and uncontrollable events to hang on to an unruly relationship. Help simplify your life by ending uncontrolled and unruly relationships!

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