While driving, I heard a newsradio report about someone who committed a heinous action but was given absolution. That last word struck me as sounding very much similar to the word “absolute.” So, I checked out a dictionary definition of “absolute” and it read “free from imperfection, complete, perfect.” Now, wait a minute! How can someone who did a no-no in the eyes of the law (and maybe even a higher jurisdiction) be free from being imperfect”? Huh?

In mathematics, they talk of the absolute value of a number. That refers to its core value regardless of the sign. Doesn’t make a difference if it is a 1 or a -1, the absolute value is still 1. But, -1 is less than a 1, so how can that be a perfect solution to a value? Hey, if I can get away with this logic, maybe I can convince the bank that a
-100.00 balance in my checking account is absolutely 100.00 and to lay off the fines and penalties and bad credit ratings.

Of course, there are mathematicians who will explain that it really means to indicate the distance of the number from zero. I will kindly suggest to those geniuses that they ought to go out in 30 degrees below zero weather as opposed to 30 degrees above and still try convincing themselves that it is all absolutely relative to zero and it makes no difference.

In philosophy, they say that absolute is an objective reality that replaces the concept of there being a Deity. Well, you try saying ‘absolute damn it’ several times when you bump your knee into a chair.

I understand that astronomers use the expression “absolute magnitude” when measuring the radiance of a star. Why can’t they just say the “brightness”?

Linguists talk of absolute construction of phrases. Don’t ask me what that means but I understand that using the expression, “all things considered”, or “this being the case” are prime examples. Absolutely. Trust me.

A Passing Fancy

Pass- a simple word with so many uses that it’s a shame to pass it up.

There is pass on and pass away- I think they mean the same. A person passes on while passing away the time. And a person who passes out could end up passing away for good.

A person passes over but not necessarily for religious reasons. If truly in need, he can pass his hat. And for a different type of need, he can always make a pass.

A quarterback expects his receiver to catch and hold the pass but the guy who passes gas better be passing through.

On the other hand, the passive fellow defers to the passionate one.

A password to let one in more often now a numeric pass code, too.

A motorist who avoids stopping at toll booths uses a mobile pass while the traveler who goes from country to country carries with a passport. Unless, of course, he is lost and must use a compass point.

In foxholes, it’s pass the ammunition. At dinner tables, it’s pass the ketchup.

In chess, the cry is “en passant!” In Monopoly, it’s “gimme my 200 bucks! as ‘GO’ my token has passed”

But for all those who find this ditty arguably passable, remember- this too shall pass.

As You Like It

Grammarians aren’t happy when we confuse the word ‘like’ with ‘as’. No, they don’t like it at all- or should I say they don’t ‘as’ it?

Today, the word ”like” has become synonymous with the Facebook website. It is a simple link identifier for expressing pleasure with someone’s presentation on their Facebook wall or to even an external site that links back to it. Most website score-keeping used to be a matter of clicking YES or NO. Facebook decided that it was bad manners for visitors to take an extremist position. The new opportunity for expression has become LIKE. To be fair, they give the visitor a chance to change his or her mind and take it all back by clicking UNLIKE.
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