Week 1- jolt Week 2- dent Week 3- truce Week4- practice Week 5- heap
“This past year’s election was a jolt to the smug, over-confidence of the Democrats.” This example sentence starts our new year as we explore how to use this word “jolt.” Last fall’s election was a decided ‘jolt’ to many liberals, especially to the younger ones. The election has reminded many in this country that destructive political trends may not be looked upon with favor by the majority of citizens. Our forefathers had great insight and savvy into the processes that a Republican form of government should use. A balance of power is essential when new and unproven ideas suddenly jolt the majority into action!
“The loud bang jolted me awake.” Jolt is used both as a verb and a noun. It means to cause someone or something to move with a sharp jerky movement. Many times it is used to describe a disturbance to someone’s composure as we see in our example sentence. Jolt is also used to describe a serious check or reverse as in the case of a severe financial jolt. Jolt is also an event or development which causes a shock or surprise. I once had a small portion of horseradish hidden in a sandwich which was a jolt to my taste buds!
“The explosion jolted the ship.” It is evident in this example that this explosion sent a shudder throughout the vessel. In wartime, this might be the case when the ship is hit by a bomb or torpedo. If not in wartime, it would signal to the passengers and crew that something of a severe nature was impacting the ship’s operation. In either of the above cases, the “jolt” was not a good omen of what the future might hold. We can imagine that the Titanic probably experienced something like this. Such a jolt would be a warning to proceed with care and caution. This tells us to be ready to act when you experience a bad jolt!
“He carelessly brushed the bare wire with the back of his hand and it jolted him.” Anyone who works with electricity knows that bare wires are never a good thing. It is best to use safety precautions when working with electricity. If you do not know what are common safety precautions then do not mess with electrical wiring of any kind. Get an expert to handle the job. One jolt that you do not need is that of an electrical shock!
“She was jolted by her boyfriend’s warning.” Bad news is never a good thing in a relationship. In this example, this lady has apparently had conversations with her boyfriend about a certain subject and she had not followed through with the proper action. He has now issued a warning for her to take action and his doing so has been a shock (jolt) to their relationship. She must now act in the proper manner to resolve the issue or it will have a severe impact upon their union. Every relationship has its moments when reality must be faced or it will bring about a negative impact on their association even to the point of being terminated. Such a jolt means take action!
“The election loss of 2016 has put a huge dent in the confidence of the Democratic Party.” Over-confidence is never a good way to believe that you can be a winner. Follow that with an election strategy that puts down and demeans your opponent which does not always work in a positive way. The Democrats put too much strength in running a negative campaign which in the end backfired on them. This loss has the Democratic Party on the defensive. It has dented their ability to speak for the U.S. voting public!
“Many of the cars were badly dented from the hail.” A storm that produces hail can cause great property damage. Hail is the culprit that causes much damage in such cases. ‘Dent’ in its verb form means to have a weakening effect on something. This weakening effect is an impact that cause something to sink inward or form a depression. As a noun, it means “an appreciable impression or effect often made against resistance.” This means something that acted to cause a depression on some material surface. A dent is a weakening or lessening effect upon something. So be careful that rising costs don’t put a big dent in your budget!
“I plan to put a huge dent in that plate of ribs.” This is a case where ‘dent’ means to reduce (a lessening) the quantity of something. Often times this is a colloquial expression of taking something away especially in the act of eating. It is a way of showing that an action is occurring that may be somewhat abnormal. The lessening effect is a change in quantity but no an actual physical malformation of an object like a dent in metal. Just be careful of what you put a dent into!
“The High School football team’s confidence was badly dented by their last loss of the season.” The ‘dent’ expressed in this example sentence is not a physical dent, but a mental dent in the team’s attitude. It is a weakening of the spirit and cohesive spirit of the team. Such a loss can impact relationships within the team’s members and possibly with the coaching staff. It takes a strong group spirit to work through such a loss that dents the team members’ attitude. It takes strong leadership to regain a good mental attitude from such a damaging ‘dent.’ Bad dents can be fixed!
“Her coy flirtations with other men put a dent in her relationship with her boy friend.” We find this woman in trouble. She has chosen to act in a manner that has put her relationship with her boyfriend in jeopardy. A dent can be defined as a malformation of a design, which in this case is a normal relationship. To have a serious involvement with one of the opposite sex and do actions that are inconsistent with a normal relationship design does not make good sense. In fact, it is like stepping in front of a speeding vehicle and hoping you don/t get hit. It is an act of instability and invites disaster. Be careful, because some ‘dents’ can have unexpected results!
“There is never an instant’s truce between virtue and vice.” This truth has never been more apparent than in the 2016 election. The Democrats want this nation’s citizen’s to have more and more freedom from any restrictions or rules, even to the point of removing any justice or rule of law. The end result of this line of thinking is total chaos and ultimate destruction. Socialists wear blinders when it comes to seeing the end result of what they do. Society must have rules in order for people to live with sanity. The lack of rules is to invite insanity as we have seen in the 2016 election!
“You can’t use a truce to ask for favors.” A truce is “a suspension of fighting especially of considerable duration by agreement of opposing forces.” Simply put it is a temporary cessation of hostilities. Such a truce is normally used to talk about the end of combat. Another sense of the word ‘truce’ is “a respite especially from a disagreeable or painful state or action.” This meaning can apply to individuals who are having a heated difference of opinion on a subject. A truce can give time opposing sides to cool off and find a way to settle issues without conflict. A truce can be helpful for opponents to regain their sanity!
“During World War 1 both sides agreed to a 24-hour truce beginning at midnight on Christmas Eve.” This historical fact has been missed by many historians. As bad as war is, this short and temporary cessation of hostilities was a welcome relief to the front line soldiers on both sides. This truce came because the men in the trenches wanted to celebrate peace to honor this holiday and what it meant to them. They even exchanged food and gifts as a token of peace during this horrible conflict. A truce can be used to make a significant statement!
“They were now financially strapped and so called a truce on wasteful spending.” In this example sentence we see truce used to mean “a respite especially from a disagreeable or painful state or action.” Being ‘financially strapped’ would qualify as a painful or disagreeable state and a truce would be welcomed. Wasteful spending is never a good activity to be involved in!
“There’s been an uneasy truce between her and her ex-husband for the past several months.” For this to be said about a relationship is not a good omen. The fact that “ex-“ is in the equation is a sure sign that the ‘truce’ is indeed a tenuous one. However, a tenuous truce is better that all out warfare. In their truce, there should be a search for common ground of agreement and try to work from that point. A truce in this case is a useful tool to try to resolve issues of disagreement. It is better to use a truce to resolve issues rather than to draw battle lines and deal with the resulting casualties!
“The country’s poor political practices have led to widespread voter disillusionment.” If nothing more, the 2016 election has taught us this truth. Present day politics in the U. S. seems to be devoid of courtesy, morals, and ethics. This is a significant breakdown in the fabric of our social order. History has told us time and again that when we see such a breakdown in what society accepts and or practices, that disintegration is usually not far behind. Be careful of what you practice for it could come back to bite you!
“Mother taught us to practice good manners.” Practice suggests an act or method followed with regularity and usually through choice. In its verb use, practice means to be professionally engaged in a vocation such as medicine, art, or business. It is to be actively doing something in a repetitive manner. In its noun form, it is what someone does as in: he is a practiced musician or locksmith. Practice is a profession in which one becomes very proficient. Politeness is not being practiced much in our world today!
“Being a good musician takes a lot of practice.” This is the classic use of practice, which is to do repeated exercises for proficiency. Music, art, and dancing are just a few of the professions where practice enables the ‘doer’ to exercise special talent. Calligraphy and sports are other areas where constant practice enables the doer to become standouts. Calligraphy is the art of producing decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush. Sports are a highly varied field where special skills can be exhibited and the best often qualify to go to the Olympics. It takes a lot of practice to become the world’s best!
“Burial practices vary around the world.” In the U.S., our burial practices are impacted by government regulations. However, in many areas of less developed societies, the customs of the tribal peoples are what dictate what they do to bury someone. Many times the body of the dead is prepared and buried within one or two days. The family and friends of the deceased will perform their customary ritual during that time, which usually includes certain mourning practices. Some even have professional mourners that will wail and eulogize the loss of the deceased in very colorful fashion. Rarely is the person’s death ignored or forgotten. It is a good thing to practice mourning for loved ones!
“Relationships get better with practice.” Any good relationship takes work. It takes a conscious effort to be aware of what another person needs. Most failed relationships do so because of a lack of proper attention to a basic need that goes unfulfilled or neglected. Good relationships thrive when basic needs are met with proper empathy toward another in areas such as: compassion, kindness, and honesty. Doing these things especially in a new relationship may take some conscious effort and practice but they do produce beneficial results. Practice these and good things happen!
“The Democratic Party is in a heap of trouble since the election.” There is presently a power struggle within the Democratic Party because of their loss in the 2016 election. They have lost many seats in the House, Senate and State governments. Those who are leaning toward leading the Democratic Party are shifting more to the extreme liberal thinking than before the election losses. Will the Democrats become even more a liberal leaning, socialist agenda party of the future? If that is where the majority of voters want the U.S. to go, we are in serious trouble and the future will be very dark. If that is what the voters want, we are in a heap of trouble!
“She wilted to a heap and fell to the floor.” A sudden and unexpected shock to one’s senses will often produce this kind of results. Heap, in this example, is a direct object and expresses a heavy load which is one definition of heap. Another is to “throw or lay in a heap.” A second and oft used definition is “a collection of things thrown one on another.” Heap is used also “to accord or bestow lavishly or in large quantities as in honors were heaped upon them.” The use of ‘heap’ rarely shows any kind of organization or continuity, but often the opposite. A ‘heap’ on the floor is not a good place for one to be!
“I can’t believe he’s still driving that old heap.” This is classic expression to describe an old run down vehicle. ‘A heap’ is viewed as a collection of bolts and old parts that function as an operating rig that carries the driver where he wants to go. Auto lovers and mechanics would sometimes be described in this way. Antique car collectors might also fall into this classic description. Owners of new cars would seldom if ever be described in this way. Driving an “old heap” can sometimes be a driver’s description of his favorite car!
“The shelter manager would heap each homeless person’s plate with food.” These unfortunate homeless people need the generosity and help from those of us who have all of our own needs provided for. But helping the homeless is more than just heaped up plates of food; they also have needs of a spiritual nature that need attention. It is this kind of physical and mental generosity that will help these unfortunate people to have a better life. Just heaping plates with food does take care of an immediate physical need but human beings are more than just physical bodies. Each one has some kind of mental issue that has put them in this desperate lifestyle. Attention to these needs will heap more help on them than any amount of physical food!
“He left his dirty clothes in a heap on the floor.” This is one way a guy adds stress to a relationship. It is not really an adult way to handle one’s responsibility. Parents often try to teach their children to be responsible by keeping their room clean and picking up after themselves. Otherwise this kind of thoughtless habit makes a slave out of someone else. Be thoughtful of others and take care of your own responsibilities. It also helps to heap praise on a child for doing the right thing like picking up that heap of dirty clothes!