(under construction)

Week 1- accent Week 2- time Week 3- usage Week 4- protect


In Philadelphia, their promotional literature accents its vital role in American history. Accent, our word this week, has several distinct types of usage as our definitions will show us. It is not only a mark in word pronunciation, but a way to stress some characteristic or bring attention to an object. Accent is also more than the way someone pronounces and emphasizes words in their language. It is means of directing attention to someone or something in a special way. Most of us accent special activities that we do in our daily lives!


“In Britain, the cockney accent has all but disappeared.” One distinctive meaning for accent is the way a person pronounces their words like the Brits’ cockney pronunciation. Likewise, English speaking Europeans, especially Germans, will also have a distinctive speech pattern. However, to ‘pronounce with an accent’ is not the only definition for accent. A second meaning is to ‘give special attention to’ someone or something. The most often used meaning for accent is to use it with English words to indicate the proper syllable to stress when a word is pronounced. The syllable you stress in a word will often tell listeners whether you are American or British!


We often look for signs of accent without being aware that we do so. We will focus on people or fashions that are given special attention. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is an expression that we understand. It will pinpoint certain items or ways of doing things that show prominence for those on the way up the ladder of success. Often we look for the ways that can enhance our prospects for getting that special promotion and its financial reward. We do not shun the spotlight if it stresses our special gifts and abilities. To accent something is to stress its importance!


What you accent will have an impact on your life. When you put the stress (accent) on your work, it will take most of your time. If you give more attention to those things you do that are pleasure, it will create an imbalance and it may eventually cause your life to crumble. What you accent will become a greater force in your motivation to achieve goals. It is important that we know those things which we do and what their result will be. Be sure that you know what moves you and whether its result is bad or good!


Our challenge for today is: how do you accent a relationship? Give it special attention, stress its positive values and give it a lot of loving care and emphasis. Without this kind of ‘accent’ many relationships will cool and grow stale. If you feel that a relationship is vital to your circle of friends and advisers, you need to examine it on a regular basis to assure it will continue with energy and meaning. We all have accent relationships. We need to give them special emphasis!

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Salvador Dali in one of his more famous pieces of art (The Persistence of Memory 1931) tries to depict his thoughts about time. In his art, he portrays time as fluid and bendable. His 1931 picture shows time as clocks in flexible forms like softened plastic shapes. He attempts to illustrate how memory and time are very fluid. What we must remember is that time is linear and goes only in one direction – forward. It advances and we cannot change its movement Time will continue to advance in spite of all that we do to stop it. Time is precious and fleeting. We need to put it to the best use we can!


“The earthquake happened at that particular moment in time.” In this example sentence, we see one use of time. Time has more than a dozen variations in its definition. In simple terms, the meaning can be thought of as duration (non-spatial continuum), an occasion, an age or a fixed occurrence as a particular minute or hour shown by a clock. It can also be an historical time as in the Colonial period (age) of the U.S. Another use is that of rhythm or tempo as that which is used in music or the cadence of a march. A process also has a time factor. However it is used, time is one thing we need to watch!


How many times have we heard the expression “signs of the times?” We will try to analyze this expression and get a better feel for its meaning. For instance, is there a way that time gives us a sign of what is occurring? Musicians use a device that helps them to establish the rhythm or beat in a piece of music. They also learn notes that help them to translate sound for the ear to hear. These two things are timing indicators. We will also see clocks or watches that have continuous movement and advancement. These are indicators that time is moving forward in progressive units over a 24 hour period. Calendars are also a time indicator that shows us a movement from day to day through the weed and month. There are many ways in which we can use “signs of the times” but we need to be actively looking for their meaning!


We often use the phrase “time flies” in various expressions. However, time does not literally fly, but is a constant. It is in our perception of time that it seems to ‘fly.’ We become so absorbed in something that we are doing that we do not focus upon the movement of time. Time is constantly ticking away, second by second, and minute by minute but our focus is upon some activity that we are doing not the ticking away of each moment in it. We become so absorbed in the ‘doing’ of the activity that we forget time is constantly ticking by. Time is a finite commodity. There is only so much of it allotted to each of us. Beware of how you use time and don’t let it “fly” by you!


Long-term relationships and time are related like peanut butter and jelly. One without the other is a rare bird. Long-term relationships must be cared for and groomed with a heavy dose of attentive concern. Time is the crucible in which bad habits and unimportant decisions are dealt with and sound solutions found. Give and take is another factor that helps relationships weather the occasional bad storm. Long-term relationships have a firm and sound foundation. Time helps to strengthen that foundation. Check your relationships for a firm, time tested foundation!

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Some American word usage and their meaning are slightly different from that of the British. Usually they will emphasize one meaning of the word while we will use another. For instance, in the U.S. it is common to call the front glass of a car a windshield, but the Brits will call it a windscreen. It is protective auto glass that the driver and passengers look through and screens or shields the car’s occupants from wind and weather. This is a typical usage difference between the two English speaking countries. Also, in the U.S., we drive on the right hand side of the road, but in Britain, they drive on the left. See, it’s not just what you use, but how you use it that has meaning!


The definition of usage is fairly simple. Three things to remember about usage and its meaning: 1) the act of using something, 2) the way that something is used, and 3) the amount of something that is used. We see drug usage increasing among college students. [The act] Drought normally increases efforts to reduce water usage. [The way] Cheap gas increases the usage of our nation’s highways. [The amount] Watch the traffic closely while you are driving!


We will often see word usage differ between sexes. Women will many times use a greater number of words in their conversations than men. The reasons for this inequality for word usage are not totally clear, but women seem to use more words to express their thoughts than men. On the other hand, men seem to be more direct and focused with a tendency to simplify the ‘what and how’ of their thinking thus using pointed and direct words. However, it is not the number of words used but the clarity in what is being expressed that is of greater importance. Being practical and simple in communication is one sign of proper word usage!


The impact or result of usage can be considerable. For instance, electrical utilities have usage statistics on their customers. With this information, they can calculate their increased future production cost and know how much to charge for electrical usage. Utilities are granted the right (under state law) to impose certain reasonable lawful charges that bind customers that have entered into lawful transactions with them based chiefly upon the basis of presumed familiarity. Here we see that the amount charged can change depending upon its usage. Lowering costs by reducing usage is encouraged for customers. Review what you use and reduce it!


Believe it or not, but usage and casual relationships do exist. We do not normally think of ‘using’ relationships, however it can happen. Politicians are the best known for relationship usage. They try to establish casual relationships with as many voters as they can to increase the potential for being elected. Sales people are another group that is guilty of ‘casual relationship’ usage. They try to form relationships with as many people as they can to increase their potential sales. Unfortunately, gossips also have the potential to need casual relationship usage to spread their message. Be smart and steer clear of those who spread needless bad news!

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The primary job of Washington, D.C. is to protect the freedoms of American Citizens. In the National Archives is the original of the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. The purpose of this Memorial Day that we celebrate is to honor those who have given their lives to protect our freedoms. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier is to remind us that some provide the ultimate sacrifice without any possibility of being recognized and will never be known for life that they have given. We must protect our liberties at all costs!


To protect by law is one general definition of our word. Of its three most common definitions, it is the most used. To keep someone or something from being harmed is the most general definition. The sports enthusiast understands protect in the sense of trying to stop an opponent from scoring on your goal. Another sense in which protect is used is to save someone from financial loss caused by fire, injury or other such damage. An insurance policy is often an instrument used to accomplish this kind of protection. Be sure you are protected!


In rainy weather, be sure to take your raincoat and umbrella for protection. A sign that you need to protect yourself is to need a shield from something. A shield can be a raincoat, an insurance policy or to guard your goal. Defense against being harmed, from possible damage or to restrict possible injury are common ways to protect you and your assets. Have valuables? Get a safe or deposit box. Have business information to protect? Get a trademark or copyright. Have rights to protect? Get a lawyer!


The purpose of our military is to protect our freedoms from those who would enslave and destroy. Those freedoms that we cherish are what the military are supposed to safeguard. Our military forces are charged with keeping our freedoms secure and defending our way of life. The primary responsibility of our military forces is to defend and protect. However, if the enemy is intent upon destruction, we have the right to take the offensive to prevent as much damage and loss of life as possible. To retain our freedoms, we have the responsibility to be active in their protection. To protect our freedoms means we must be proactive not passive in securing them!


Most relationships need to be protected by having some rules. This needs to be done to maintain balance and avoid dissention. Without them, an outsider can hinder or harm the relationship. When both parties know and agree upon the rules, it is harder for harm to upset the relationship. However, in spite of everything we do a relationship can experience turbulence. One of the worst things one can do when facing unexpected turmoil is to panic. Panic is the one ingredient which will increase not only the turbulence but the expectation of failure. To deal with panic, one must seek guidance and suggestions on how to overcome. Remember, always protect your good relationships with vigor!

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