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Week 1 – Plane Week 2 – Cherish Week 3 – Strand Week 4 Persuade Week 5 – Effigy

Plane. Monday. 090213

Our word this week is used in biology, aeronautics, woodworking and math. The varied meanings of this word can make it difficult to understand and use. To “plane” something means that I am going to use a tool to make something flat. A biologist might think of a species of trees when he uses “plane.” An engineer would likely see it as a mode of transportation or part of a math equation. When plane is used, the sentence structure and its descriptive words will guide us to the right meaning. Don’t be looking for a mirage on the plain when you are looking for a ride on a plane!

Plane. Tuesday. 090313

Plane has four major definitions and it can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. To a biologist, it is any of a genus of trees of the plane-tree family having maple like leaves, spherical dry fruits and bark that sheds in large patches. A sycamore is typical. In math it is a flat, level and even surface that forms a plane. Typically a surface that wholly contains every straight line joining any two points lying on it. A carpenter will use a tool (a plane) to make a wood surface flat and smooth. In aeronautics, it is an airfoil that will soar or glide in the air such as an airplane or glider. Also, to travel at high speed across the surface of water is to hydroplane. Amazingly, one can also reach a higher plane in development or achievement!

Plane. Wednesday. 090413

Flat, level and two dimensional are characteristics of a plane surface. Artwork, diagrams and blueprints are examples that illustrate work done on a flat surface. But to a carpenter, a plane is a tool that allows him to shave off or take away excess wood to make a surface flat and smooth. Surfaces on a chest, table or cabinet must be a flat, level plane. For passengers who travel by airplane, have a flat, smooth trip without turbulence is most enjoyable. However, for auto passengers to experience an unnerving trip is to be in a speeding car that hydroplanes on a wet road!

Plane. Thursday. 090513

Dead level is another characteristic of a plane surface. What is the impact of a dead level plane surface? However, dead level does not necessarily mean horizontal. It does mean that a plane is flat when looked at from any angle. It can also mean stability, skill or simple design. Anything on a flat plane can be common, matter-of-fact and may even be ordinary. Plane can sometimes be straight-forward and direct. Even one’s viewpoint can be on a plane but it should not be warped!

Plane. Friday. 090613

In use today are commercial planes that number several dozen types plus another 40 or 50 U. S. military planes and foreign aircraft which will double that number. What do aircraft have to do with relationships? It illustrates the fact that various kinds and types of relationships exist. What kind of relationship you have will be determined by involvement, frequency of contact and the preferences of the individuals in the association. There are friend relationships, business partnerships, associates in clubs, church members and company workers. For such relationships, the intensity and involvements will vary. You choose whether it will be on a common plain or on a higher plane!

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Cherish. Monday. 090913

There are things that we hold on to and/or protect with passion. We cling to some memories more than others. Some ideas we have, we protect with zeal more than others. This week, our word “cherish” encompasses many of these thoughts. We cherish our family. We can cherish our rights and cling to a hope when it does not make sense. It is in our nurturing of such things that we can face the hard times that come in our lives. To cherish is to treasure those things we value!

Cherish. Tuesday. 091013

As we travel life’s road, we learn what has value and meaning. It is this thought that gives meaning to the definition of cherish. This verb has three primary concepts. The first is to “hold dear; feel or show love for.” The second is to “take good care of; protect or foster.” The last definition is to “cling to the idea or feeling of” something. When we cherish something, it normally raises a positive mental image of an idea or action which we treasure or value highly. We should embrace and hold fast to those ideas that will positively impact mankind!

Cherish. Wednesday. 091113

This day is one that brings back memories from that horrible event of twelve years ago. It is a time to recall and cherish the memories of loved ones lost and first responders who died on that fateful day. A memorial has been built on that hallowed ground. The trees planted there remind us of those lost, but it is also a sign that life goes on. The two huge voids with flowing waters give a sense of continuing motion and a reminder that life is fragile. To those who lost family and loved ones, there will always be that emptiness that can never be filled. These memories we will always hold dear and cherish. May we, as a nation, never forget the impact of this act of war!

Cherish. Thursday. 091213

Most of us have things that we treasure. They are dear to us and we guard them with great care. How do we pass these mental images which we cherish on to our children in such a way that they too will see the value? Careful instruction that helps to foster hope that we treasure is one of our greatest life challenges. It will impact our future. We must act upon what we believe in and nourish the moments that will have the greatest future value for our children to learn. This is one area that our present society is experiencing a breakdown. Our children are not being nourished in how to preserve those mental images and treasures that have made our country great. This failure will bring future default!

Cherish .Friday. 091313

As normal for a Friday, we will write a few words of wisdom regarding relationships. Any good relationship should be cherished. Now, why is that thought appropriate? As humans, the one area that we have the most difficulty with is communication. One requirement for any relationship with value is the way that we interchange ideas and concepts. One sided relationships rarely have any lasting value. It is the interplay of physical and mental ideas and subjects that will draw the strings of interest together in any good relationship. We cherish the interaction of special thoughts that occur in such associations. Build on, cling to, nurture and hold dear your good relationships!

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For our word this week, maybe it would be good to start with word associations: what is the connection between filament, shipwreck and a grounded whale? Each has a meaning that comes from the word “strand.” A filament is a strand of fiber material. A shipwreck is a ship that was stranded by a storm. A grounded whale is a mammal that has been stranded on a beach. Word meanings can give us a variety of ways to inform ideas. As we can see, word definitions can connect seemingly uncommon words!


One human hair is small in diameter and can be up to two or three feet in length. A hair is not very strong by itself, but when bundled or twisted together in a length, hair becomes very strong. This same concept can be applied to any kind of thread, fiber or wire. However, this is not the only meaning, but one of several for this word “strand.” Strand has two major meanings: 1.To run or drive aground on or to land at the edge of a body of water, the shore. 2. A ropelike length of any string, rope or cable or any of these bundled or twisted together. There are many variations of these definitions. Have you ever been stranded in a strange city? Likewise, you may have searched for the strands that make your life. Yes, there are strands that make us what we are, but don’t let yourself be stranded!


“The fibers in his life contained a silver strand.” In this sentence, we see strand used to convey a sense of imagery. The term “fibers” is used to help us see in a physical way what we cannot touch or feel because the thought is without material form. The use of “silver strand” signifies that this particular fiber has a higher value than the other fibers. In this way we can communicate specific information about the related value of the different fibers in this person’s life. In this way, “silver strand” gives specific value to what is running through this person’s life. In the definition of strand, we see that it can mean “any of the parts that are bound together to form a whole. Be creative and look for the silver strands that run through your life!


A Greek cruise ship hit rocks, ran aground, was stranded and sunk off the Greek island of Santorini in 2007. That ship is now being raised at a cost of half a billion dollars. The Sea Diamond cruise ship disaster has cost its insurers more than a billion dollars because its captain was careless in handling the ship. The same idea occurs when someone by carelessness finds themselves stranded in a strange city. The core concept of being stranded is a most difficult and helpless position whether it is a ship or person. Think carefully and plan well before you make a trip to a place you have never been before!


A relationship that is crippled or lame is unproductive and fits the definition of stranded. One of the meanings of strand is “to leave in, or be put into, a difficult, helpless position.” Fortunately, strand also has a positive twist for good relationships. When the fibers of a good relationship become intertwined it produces strength, not only in the relationship itself, but also in the parties to the relationship. Thus the interweaving of the good relationship strands will produce strength. That strength enables the relationship to weather and survive many bad storms.. Focus on making the fibers of your relationships as strong as steel!

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Can I persuade you to read on? Yes, you got it. Our word this week is persuade. It is an action that goes on around us daily. TV ads, Magazine pages, billboards and pop-ups on our computer searches are all trying to get our attention and persuade us to do or buy some service or item. The media is most always slanted to persuade us to believe or accept what they present. To persuade is someone in some way trying to convince you to act on or accept what is presented. Remember, you do not have to be persuaded against your will!


Back on May 27, we learned about a word “cajole.” The sense of that word was to beg, plead or trick someone into doing an action. In a narrow sense that is what persuade can mean, but persuade is more subtle in most cases. It means to “cause to do something, especially by reasoning, urging or inducement, as in to prevail upon. To convince or to induce to believe something is its second definition. We think of persuade when we want to influence someone in a specific direction or to win them over to our way of thinking. Persuade also means to overcome another’s resistance!


Warning! There is a signpost just ahead! Life would be easier if we had a warning each time that an advertisement on TV, our computer or a billboard appeared. The media uses such ads to try to persuade us to do something, buy something or take action in a certain direction. Commercial advertising is an inducement to act upon their effort to persuade. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, cars and food are some of the items that we see inducements to buy and use or consume. These products are heavily advertised with much urging to acquire and many of their reasons are convincing. However, we need to use care and not be persuaded when the results are harmful.


To persuade is to actively engage another and convince them to take an action. In our study of words, occasionally we will look at the positive and negative impact of a word. To persuade is to encourage an action. However, do we always think about the consequences of that action? Will that action produce positive results or negative results? If we are the one persuading, we need to make sure the action will have a positive impact. If we are the one being persuaded, we need to avoid an action that will produce negative results. This world is full of “persuaders”

who do not care what the results are for others as long as it produces what the “persuader” wants. Beware of persuaders who want you to commit immoral and illegal actions!


Human communications are the backbone of relationships. To persuade another is a key activity in how we form relationships. Sometimes gentle persuasion will work effectively. At other times persuasion may take reasoning like doing a pros and cons list to decide. Occasionally, to persuade a friend to not take a path with negative results, it may take more heavy handed action. Heavy handed tactics should be avoided and should be used only as a last resort. Remember, honey attracts but a whip repels!

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“Queen’s Effigy Burned in Argentina Protest” This was a Sky News headline dated September 7, 2013. Our word this week is one with very definite negative meaning. The use of effigy is normally associated with reaction to a leader’s beliefs or policies that the masses to whom he (or she) is responsible find repulsive. The reaction normally takes the form of some public display in which a likeness, or in many cases a dummy, which will then represent the leader and the likeness or dummy is publicly displayed, denounced by the demonstrators and then set afire. For a leader to be “burned in effigy” is a forceful and violent act of disapproval!


A noun, effigy is fairly easy to define. It has two definitions and uses. The first is a crude representation of a despised person as a statue or portrait. The second, though rarely used refers to a sculptural portrait of one who is deceased, reclining upon a burial monument. Most of us have encountered the phrase “in effigy,” as part of a news story on TV. The report shows protesters who burn a stuffed figure made to look like a scorned corporate authority or national leader. For the past couple of centuries, effigies have been disposed of in place of the individual. The demonstrators in this way pictorially manifest their disapproval of the one they think has escaped justice.


Effigy as a noun can be used to symbolically represent an idol, emblem, picture or statue of someone; therefore, an effigy is a copy that represents a likeness of some despised person. The following sentence illustrates this thought. “His former employees drew devil horns on a picture of him to represent their true feelings about him.” Their addition of the “devil horns” to his picture converted a common photo into an effigy that represented their opinion of his character. In this way they expressed negative emotions as to his skills in doing his job as a manager. May all your effigies show or express positive qualities!


“The witch doctor used an effigy of his victim to cause him pain.” This sentence is an example of how a lifeless object can become the focal point of a person’s actions. The effigy is used here to represent a living person and the object of what that person intends to do. Also, an effigy can be an object like an idol or statute that is the center of a religion and its worship. Where an effigy is the center of anger in a protest, in a religion it becomes the focus of adoration and worship. So, use care where you focus your emotional energy and in what manner!


Two words that have little in common are effigy and relationship. In some sense, a portrait or painting of someone might become a type of idol. However, that is not something that occurs often. Your favorite movie star or comic character could have that kind of meaning. However, in normal relationships, you would not want to treat your parents, spouse or children in this manner. Maybe a business partner who has swindled you out of your savings, like Bernie Madoff, might qualify. Otherwise effigy has little meaning in personal relationships. Do be careful when you hear someone close to you use the words “burn him in effigy!”

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