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Week 1- ripe Week 2- humble Week 3- coast Week 4- fix


“The heat of summer tends to make tempers ripe for an unexpected riot.” This election year, we have seen some unexpected events. The likelihood of a riot at the political conventions is probably yet another unexpected event. The general mood of rabble rousers from both parties and from outside agitators is in the mix to cause tempers to flare and a general upheaval to these events. When things are ripe do not be surprised at unusual fruit!


“The orchard was full of ripe apples that were ready to be picked.” The most used meaning of ‘ripe’ is that “of fruits and vegetables that are fully grown, developed and ready to be eaten.” There are seven definitions usually given this word with the foregoing being the most used. Ripe can also mean “having mature knowledge, understanding, or judgment.” Another sense in which ripe is used is that “of advanced years.” But in most cases the meaning of ‘ripe’ is that “brought by aging to full flavor or the best state.” But the best state of the language we use should not be that of ‘ripe’ language!


“Most ripe cheese will be stored and properly aged to produce its best flavor.” To be ripe many food items require a period of time to age and produce good taste. Most fruit requires proper time to ripen before being picked. Vegetables also require time to fully ripen before being harvested. As with fruits and vegetables, many ideas require time to ‘ripen’ to full bloom before being acted upon. The old adage “haste makes waste” is fully applicable to plans that require a proper amount of time to become ‘ripe’ for action. As with cheese, improper aging will produce a stinky ripeness!


“Jimmy decided at the ripe old age of 11 that he’d learned all there was to know about his future.” In this example sentence, we ‘ripe’ used in a very humorous way. It is a tongue-in-cheek expression about the mental attitude of a child. The phrase “ripe old age” is not to be taken literally but in a manner that expresses the thoughts of this young boy. Time will truly be the factor that tells what he has learned and if it is really applicable. Be careful of how you use “ripe old age” because it can be insulting!


“Because they had a good relationship, they lived to a ripe old age together.” One of the lesser used meanings of ‘ripe’ is that of “having mature knowledge, understanding, or judgment.” A relationship that matures properly, will have these three things as they work to make their relationship grow and they will bond together with security. In our modern society, the importance of strong relationship is not stressed. If strong relationships are not stressed, they will never grow, mature, and ripen!

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“One humble suggestion is that we review the data more carefully.” This was a comment made by an author that Fox News interviewed Saturday about the recent riots in Dallas, Texas, Louisiana, and Minnesota. Unfortunately, those who are demonstrating against the police are not looking for facts but acting on negative emotional reactions. More people should listen to what the author on Fox News said. However, humble he might be, he was dead on about the facts!


“Despite all his achievements, he has remained humble.” This example illustrates the most often used meaning of humble: “not proud or not thinking of yourself as better than other people.” Another often used definition of humble is “ranking low in a hierarchy or scale.” Again, humble can mean “to show that you do not think of yourself as better than other people.” Often used to mean a submissive spirit, it is word that is losing its value in today’s society. Many of the younger generations see it as a derogatory condition, which it is not. One’s humble attitude is always correct!


“She’s not ashamed of her humble beginnings.” Humble has both positive and negative symptoms. Not proud or haughty are some positive sides of this word. Some negative signs are cheapen, degrade, and to humiliate. Our example sentence shows a positive side of being humble. This person has obviously been able to grow beyond the state of humble beginnings and accomplish something. One’s goal should always be to grow in a positive and worthwhile manner to gain value in life. A humble start is never a negative but to lack any motivation to accomplish something of value is to stagnate. Start humble and grow!


“The business began humbly but quickly became successful.” The impact of being humble can be quiet surprising with the right intent. In this example sentence, we see that a business began with a simple idea and right attitude. Because this business filled and evident need that was met in the right way, it became a success. Sometimes when something is done without a pretentious attitude, it can help to fill a need that is not obvious on the surface. It is better to be humble than to be taken down for being obnoxious and pretentious!


“Please accept my humble apology.” These are words that can defuse a stressful relationship problem. Too often pride puts us in position of confrontation. A willingness to humble one’s self and apologize can soothe nerves and bring calmness to rough waters in contentious issues. A humble action such as an apology can deflect many potential problems that often crop up in a relationship. The lack of a “humble” apology has destroyed many a decent relationship!

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“He was accused of trying to coast through school.” This week’s word “coast” is both a noun and a verb. The Coast is on the West side of the U.S. This is a noun as a name for the Pacific Coast. Our example sentence is using “coast” as a verb, an action that he was accused of. This word was first used in the 14th Century and is a Latin variant. It is used more today as a verb rather than a noun. If you don’t want to be seen, be sure the coast is clear!


“Bob loved to coast downhill on his bicycle.” This example sentence uses coast as a verb. The most often verb use of coast is “to slide, run, or glide downhill by the force of gravity” as we see in the example. Several definitions of coast as a noun or verb are obsolete and no longer used. Coast as in seashore (noun) or moving along with the use of gravity (verb) are the most often used meanings. One expression as a slang term is still sometimes used as in “the coast is clear.” To just “coast” along on your good reputation is not a good idea!


“The airplane coasted down for a soft landing on the runway.” In this example, we see ‘coast’ used in the intransitive verb form as in “to move along without or as if without further application of propulsive power (as by momentum or gravity).” This use of coast is in the form of motion and is not a physical form like that of a coastline. Used in this sense, coast is motion that comes as a result of gravity. The noun form describes a place or thing that is motionless. You go to the ‘coast’ to see the seashore and you might ‘coast’ downhill to get there!


“He takes beautiful pictures of the Pacific Coast.” In the noun form, Pacific Coast, names a specific area of the western U. S. This area is one of rugged cliffs and heavy tides. In many areas the waters are cold because of the heavy Artic currents which flow in a southerly direction. In areas of accessible beaches, the surf is normally good for those who love to surf. Sea life is varied and plentiful. The seacoast is rough and wrinkled with many beautiful rocky bluffs that are a photographer’s delight. Take your camera and your time when you go to the Coast!


“She was focused on her career and her relationship with family was just coasting along.” We see in this illustration an application of the meaning “to proceed easily without special application of effort or concern.” Relationships are not like cars or physical objects. They require constant care and attention. For a relationship to just coast is to let it wither and die. Relationships are living organisms and require one to feed them with care and loving responses to keep them alive. A relationship on ‘coast’ is bound to crash and burn!

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“I need to fix this dent in my car.” This week’s word is a simple three letters: fix, but this three letter word has both noun and verb forms and a couple dozen meanings. If I have a ‘dent’ in my new car, it needs to be repaired. The sense here is to put something back into proper shape or position. For instance, the Democratic Party needs to be ‘fixed’ which may be an impossible task. Some repairs may or may not be able to be fixed. So don’t try to ‘fix’ something that is broken beyond repair!


“Many parents expect school to fix whatever is wrong with their kids.” For a simple three letter word, ‘fix’ is used as a noun, and two different verb forms (transitive and intransitive). This example sentence uses ‘fix’ as a verb form to mean “something that fixes or restores.” The primary sense of fix is “to make firm, stable, or stationary.” Another meaning of fix is “to set or place definitely,” as in establish or discover. As we saw in yesterday’s post, it can mean to repair or mend. Fix can also mean “to fix or influence by improper or illegal means” as the Democrats just tried to do before their convention. Think twice before you try to fix a race in order to win!


“Congress is still attempting to fix the exact cause of our huge federal deficit.” Here we see ‘fix’ used in the sense of establishing a solution for a problem. This “tongue-in-cheek” expression gives a feel for what fix can and cannot do. When something reaches the tipping point, it becomes a destructive force that cannot be stopped until disaster occurs and all destructive forces are spent. To fix something implies that time and attention will provide everything necessary to correct or repair the problem. Caution, fix things before they get past the tipping point!


“She will fix the scarf in place with a pin.” This is a definite and established action. This lady has taken a specific and determined move to make sure the scarf does not move once it has been put in place. Her act has put the scarf in place and does not want it to move so she has “fixed it.” It seems that fix comes to us from 14th century Middle English and has its roots in the Latin word “fixus.” The general sense of ‘fix’ is that of removing any motion in the item that is fixed. There are some negative sides to the word ‘fix’ as in the game was fixed. Take your time when you want to fix something so that it will stay in place!


“Jill is still trying to fix her broken relationship with Jack.” When something is broken we like to see it restored (or fixed) to what it was like before. In Jill’s situation, she would like for her relationship to be mended and made like new again. The odds are that her relationship with Jack will never be exactly the same again. Once trust is broken in a relationship, it is hard to repair it completely. Broken trust is difficult to be returned to that state of complete trust again. There is always a residue left, however small, of doubt!

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