(under construction)


Week 1- risk Week 2- compliment Week 3- complement Week 4- jettison


“The degree of risk is minimal.” This week’s word ‘risk’ is in the top 30% of words used according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. Therefore, we should know about this word and how to use it correctly because it is used so often. A couple of synonyms for ‘risk’ are threat, trouble or danger. It carries an element of uncertainty. We should think carefully about our activities and actions and reduce any risk. Action without thinking is a dangerous risk!


“There is a risk of liver damage with this medication.” In this example, we see risk used in a health condition. Risk can also be used to indicate an adverse condition for a stock investment. It can also indicate an insurance hazard from a specific cause or source. Risk is the possibility of something bad or unpleasant happening. Sky-diving is an activity that can incur a high risk of negative results. Be sure of the risks before you jump!


“There is a real risk of infection with an open wound.” An infection will result if an open wound is not treated quickly and with caution. The care of an open wound should be as quick as possible. The degree of infection probability increases dramatically the longer the wound is exposed. Covering the wound quickly with sterile bandages (or clean material) helps reduce the risk of infection. Seek proper medical care as soon as possible to insure proper treatment and healing. Whether physical or mental, open wounds are a risk and need proper treatment!


“There is a higher risk of financial loss when the market trends down.” Risk is taking a chance that an investment like a stock or commodity will gain or lose value. Naturally the degree of negative risk with a stock increases when the market indexes show decline. However, when the market indexes show uptrend, the degree of risk decreases and positive gain can be seen. With an investment, the degree of loss or decline must be determined in advance. In this way the potential loss is minimized and the amount invested is not totally lost. Remember, all investments have some element of risk to them!


“A relationship without risk has little meaning.” In any relationship, there is a possibility that something bad or unpleasant may happen. Death may occur or injury due to an accident. Breaking the law can add tremendous stress to a relationship. Financial loss can occur and leave one or both destitute. Risk means that the threat of trouble or danger may always be present. Sticking together when outside forces put a relationship in danger is very important. Life itself is risky business!

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“The lobbyist said to the Senator, please accept this with our organizations compliments.” An action that expresses a high regard for another is a form of a compliment. This week and next we will look at two words that have only one letter difference in the way they are spelled. That one letter (i or e) dramatically changes the meaning. We need to be aware of how 1 simple change impacts what the word means and how it is used!


“The coach was fearful that to compliment Howie would make him over-confident.” An admiring remark is one of the most used meanings for compliment. To compliment someone is to show admiration, respect, or honor for some ability or action. It is normally used to indicate a positive characteristic about someone. However, too many compliments can become ego builders. It is good to use compliments sparingly, but at appropriate times!


“A compliment helps children build confidence.” A child who has a low self-esteem can be helped with a compliment. The use of a compliment at the right time can help a youngster become more self-reliant. Children should be encouraged to use and explore their own unique areas of giftedness. A highly motivated and aggressive child may be harmed by being complimented too frequently. Compliments should be used sparingly and timely to encourage good behavior!


“When you compliment some people it is like a honeybee drawn to flower nectar.” Compliments are one way we can build positive reinforcement. The use of a compliment to encourage another is never a bad thing. We need to express our approval when another person is doing something good. It encourages people to continue producing results that bring good compliments. When a person is down, a compliment can help them produce positive action!


“Giving a woman a compliment is like giving her a hug without physical touch.” Compliments used correctly can help someone feel appreciated and of good value. In a relationship, appropriate and wise compliments can increase the closeness each person experiences. However, inappropriate compliments can hinder or cause division in the relationship. Appropriate compliments at the right time and place will enhance any relationship!

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“The soup and salad complement each other well.” Our word this week is ‘complement.’ As we noted last week, only one letter differs in the spelling of these words, however, that one letter changes the meaning as we will see in tomorrow’s definition. Think of ‘complement’ as that which completes something, not something nice that you say about someone as in ‘compliment.’ These two words highlight the importance of spelling something correctly!


“His dress shirt complements his suit nicely.” In this sentence, we see complement used in the sense of one thing completing another. The primary definition of complement is “a word or group of words added to a sentence to make it complete.” Complement is also used as a musical term and in computer language. Another way that complement is used is as a medical term. In the use of this word, its primary sense is to complete something!


“The Old Bailey farm has a full complement of farm animals.” These animals are typical farm animals like horses, cows, pigs, and chickens. These are the kinds of animals that complete the farm scene. The production of meat, eggs and vegetables provide income to support the farm. A large farm complex can provide agricultural products in great quantities. But, the Old Baily farm is just a small self-sustaining operation that supports itself!


“All of the ship’s complement turned out for the Armed Forces Day parade.” In this example, we see complement used to show the full force of the personnel of a ship. In this way, it shows the complete gathering of sailors aboard a naval vessel. The sense is that of a complete assembly to make a unit. All parts must be there to have a full complement!


“Her husband’s “good looks” was a nice complement to her career.” A relationship needs to be complete. Completing a relationship takes all kinds of things. In this case the fact that her husband was handsome helped the relationship. Many good characteristics can be helpful and proper for a complete relationship. Honesty, integrity and being good looking are all appropriate complements to any association and especially marital affinity. Enhance your relationships with the complement of good character!

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“The aircraft was coming in for a crash landing so the pilot jettisoned most of his fuel.” This word ‘jettison’ is an Anglo-French word that was first used in the 15th Century. It is derived from the Latin word “to throw.” In our example sentence, the pilot would want to minimize the possibility of fire as he crash landed his plane. To get rid of excess fuel would be a prudent step before attempting to land. To throw off excess to ease a dangerous event is a positive step!


“The ship commander jettisoned the whole escape plan as too risky.” One often used meaning of ‘jettison’ is to “voluntary sacrifice one’s cargo to lighten a ship’s load in time of distress.” The primary sense of jettison is to get rid of something, or to reject something like a plan or idea. A couple of similar words are to discard or dispose of something. Be sure it is necessary and an emergency before you jettison your cargo!


“The company president was disappointed that the board jettisoned his entire marketing plan as too costly.” In this use of ‘jettison’ it is to discard or dispose of something. Apparently, the opinion of his board was the plan would cost more money than it would produce. In essence, the plan lacked a balance of productive results, which is spending too many dollars to produce too few benefits. His plan was rejected because it was unproductive!


“The United States has jettisoned the concept of capitalism.” For over 200 years, this nation has been one of the richest nations in history. Now the false ideas of “the common good” are those of equality under socialism. History has proven that humans are not equally endowed with intelligence, motivation and resourcefulness. Socialism destroys motivation. Socialism degrades intellect. Socialism punishes resourcefulness. The end result of socialism is always destructive. Because the U.S. has jettisoned capitalism, it will self-destruct!


“Jettison bad relationships that hinder your integrity.” Your integrity is very valuable. Protect it. Any association that tempts you to weaken your integrity is unnecessary. It is better to be known for being trustworthy and dependable than to be popular and fickle. Integrity helps you to build a strong reputation of being trusted and steadfast. It is better to get rid of any relationship that drags you down rather than to be drawn into actions that are destructive. Give up those relationships that tend to get you into trouble!

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