(under construction)

Week 1- link Week 2- malignant Week 3- sustain Week 4- opinion


“That string of sausage has seven links in it.” Many things in life have interconnections. Not only can things be connected, but one thing can be a bridge that leads on to another and link them together. Our DNA for example, forms chains that are linked together to make up who we are as unique individuals. Such links can be an important factor in our lives. Who would think that our DNA and links of sausage could be connected!


“There is a definite link between smoking and cancer.” The link connecting smoking and cancer is definitely not made of gold cuff links. Cuff links are one of several ways in which this word is used. Link is a connecting structure as a single ring or division of a chain. It is also one of the standardized divisions of a surveyor’s chain that is 7.92 inches long and serves as a surveyor’s measure of length. It can be a short connecting rod for transmitting force and also as a fusible member of an electrical fuse. It can even be used to indicate a computer hyperlink. Just don’t be the missing link!


“The manufacturer says there is a weak link in that timing chain.” That weak link is a sign of a quality fault in that engine part. As with most words, there are descriptors that give us the methods in which that word is used. In our example sentence, we see that the word ‘weak’ describes the state of quality of the link in its place in the chain. Other descriptor words used would change the sense or meaning of ‘link’ in the sentence. It is important to watch for descriptor words and how they impart meaning to those words they describe. Be sharp and know how words are linked!


“The new satellite link was working very fast as we prepared for the new product launch.” In this sample sentence, we see ‘link’ used as a communications connection. This highlights the use of link as a connecting structure between point A and point B. In this case it refers specifically to a communications system and the connecting of two devices in the process of an electronic wireless signal transmitted between two components in the system. A hyperlink is another form of this kind of link. You can be an important link in a system of communication!


“One important link in a good relationship is mutual respect.” If respect is missing, some kind of abuse will surely follow. The abuse can be physical, mental or spiritual. Any of these can cause great harm to the relationship. It will normally manifest itself in some kind of dominance in one or more of the abuse areas. Take great care to make sure your relationships have mutual respect as part of their foundation. This link must be nurtured with care and consideration!

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“Stonehenge became a powerful and malignant influence in some parts of Western England.” Many theories and speculation abounds as to the purpose and use of this oddly constructed arrangement of huge stones. Whatever its original intent, it became a part of the culture of this part of Western England. It seems to have been a center of religious attention. Beyond that it is not sure how or what it was used for. Some think it became the center of the evil Druid worship. Whatever its history, it is a strange and mysterious site. Remember, a malignant influence may become very destructive!


Malignant is primarily used as a medical term. “That type of cancer is highly malignant.” The sense of malignant is one of being harmful or injurious. Its most used medical meaning is that of producing death or physical deterioration. In a general sense it is used to indicate an evil nature, influence or effect. This is one word in which there is nothing good about how it is used. The use of malignant is often injurious or harmful in its final impact!


This is a Latin word that was first used about mid-1500s. One of its meanings is to be ‘aggressively malicious.’ “The Ebola virus is a malignant malady that can be very deadly if it is not treated early and with prescribed treatments.” The result of such aggressively malicious illnesses can be devastating if not quarantined quickly. There are also some political ideologies that can have the same result as viruses like Ebola. If they are not contained, they can contaminate entire people groups as well as continents. Recognize malignant thinking before it destroys!


“Malignant hypertension is a serious symptom of a patient’s dangerously high blood pressure.” This is one symptom that you cannot ignore because it can cause a debilitating stroke or death. When a symptom or condition becomes advanced to the point that it is malignant, the response must be swift and severe or the illness will bring destructive results. If a diagnosis is termed malignant, it requires rapid and intense treatment. Malignant means bad news!


To have a malignant relationship is to have a death wish. Most good relationships are built upon a foundation of mutual trust and respect. A malignant relationship destroys both through the process of erosion. Things are done that eat away at trust and disrespect wears away confidence. Without some kind of intervention, the relationship will eventually disintegrate. The remedy for correcting a malignant relationship is to change the core cause of why it is injurious. Without this drastic measure, the malignant relationship is doomed!

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“During the Normandy invasion, the Allied army sustained heavy losses.” In our example sentence, we see this week’s word sustain used in the past tense. The focus is on a past event but ‘sustain’ hints at a future success. As our history books record, despite the heavy losses of the Normandy invasion, it was a success and became the Allied foothold on Europe during WWII. Sustain imparts a concept to any attempt we act upon that we can succeed if we are persistent. To ‘stay with it’ imparts special meaning to sustain!


“The roof collapsed as it was unable to sustain the weight of the heavy snow.” In this use of sustain, it is “to hold up the weight of something”, in this case-the snow. Another meaning is to provide what is needed for something or someone to exist or continue. Another common way in which sustain is used is as a legal expression. For instance, to support as true, legal or just as in “the court sustained the motion.” Another variation of the legal definition is to confirm in the sense of support for adequate proof. “The testimony sustains our contention” is a proper usage for this meaning. Don’t let bad experiences sustain a negative attitude!


“Hope will sustain you during your difficult times.” This word ‘sustain’ is a Middle English word that was first used in the 13th century. It is derived from a Latin word that means to hold on. A couple of synonyms will help us have a better feel for the word. Think nurture or nourish as well as to bear up under stress. Something that prolongs one’s ability or enables one to cope with an experience is also part of the meaning of sustain. These meanings as well as the legal use are part of the sense in how sustain is used. Do your best to sustain those beautiful thoughts of hope!


“He sustained serious injuries from the car accident.” As we see from this example sentence, the use of sustained has produced results. ‘To bear up under’ is one of the eight definitions of sustain. The one injured has experienced the end result of the accident and must continue to hold up or bear an ongoing unpleasant suffering. In this use, sustain is an ongoing process or experience that will continue or be maintained for a time. A good attitude will sustain one during the worst of such experiences!


“Trust and respect are two key ingredients that will help sustain a good relationship.” Mistrust and disrespect will quickly undermine and destroy the best of relationships. The lack of emotional control will aggravate even the best of associations among friends. Learn to control your emotions. Channel your emotions in positive directions. You will find that negative actions will irritate your friendships, not improve them. Positive acts build up, and negative thoughts and actions will tear down. Form the habit of positive thinking and your relationships will flourish!

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“The article discussed a recent Supreme Court opinion with positive commentary.” The use of opinion is sometimes taken as being absolute. Opinions are based upon the reasons behind why a person or persons make decisions. Formal opinions, as in court cases can carry much weight, however opinions by an individual is usually their reason for thinking or doing something in a certain way. Opinions may not always work for the one receiving the information. It should be used by the receiver only if it works to bring about their desired end result. Free advice is usually worth what you pay for it!


“I have an idea on which I want to get your opinion.” The first definition of opinion and commonly it is the most often used “a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something.” Most of the time its use is what someone thinks about a particular subject. Another definition is “advice from someone with special knowledge like a justice or engineer.” Formally, it is a statement by judge in a court case that explains the reasons why a decision was made and the rules behind the decision. The judge’s decision should carry a lot of weight!


“You often hear people say that opinions are not worth much.” That saying could well be true if the opinion is not based on facts. If someone has an ‘opinion’ and it is based upon nebulous assumptions, it should be suspect. Make sure you check what is behind any opinion that you hear. Those that are based upon scientific evidence or past experience based on solid sources are more likely to be beneficial. Legal and medical experts will normally have solid opinions. Beware any opinion that is based upon someone’s prejudice. Take time and check out the evidence behind that opinion!


In my opinion…How many times have we heard that statement? Probably, more than we want to talk about. So, opinions mean what exactly? They are a “belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge.” Okay and that tells us what? First, opinions are what a person might believe but do not have facts to support what that belief. Second, opinions are usually based upon more than just whims. Experience and time are usually heavy factors. Some facts can be part of the impression but may not support the conclusion that is voiced by the one giving advice. Opinions should always be taken with a ‘grain of salt’ so don’t sell your gold just because the media says to!


“A good relationship should be based upon mutual interest not someone else’s opinion.” Relationship opinions can be based upon feelings and emotions rather than solid information. Do all you can to build a solid foundation for your association with others. Feelings and emotions can be very fluid and lead you into false assumptions. False assumptions are quicksand and can suffocate a good relationship. Do your investigation with clear thinking and don’t rely on the opinions of others!

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