September 2021 Featured Article


Ever tried to remember a word, closed your eyes, shook your head, and said, “What’s that word? Oh. Don’t tell me. Uh …” I fumble around and insist it’s just on the tip of my tongue. And finally, “Forget it. I’ll come back to it.” (Regrettably, it happens more and more often as the years whiz by.)

Back when I was a schoolgirl learning to type, a bottle of Wite Out sat beside my Smith-Corona, and I replaced it often. Couldn’t seem to type a full page without a typo. Oh! Those pesky words. (Today the editor’s Wite Out is Track Changes in Word).

Many times, I’ve spoken words that embarrassed and shamed me. Foolish words. Untrue words. Misused words. Worst of all, I’ve shouted angry words. Hurtful. Wounding. Shameful words I regret. If only I could “wite” them out.

Speaking of word recall …

The funniest such incident I’ve witnessed was shortly after my husband Al suffered a mild stroke and would mix up words for a brief time. One instance was hilarious and is a favorite family anecdote:

Al, to our grandson Davis: “You see, in the Old Testament there were two groups of people—the Jews, God’s chosen people, and the Genitals.”

I thought I’d split a side! Even still, I can’t help myself. Each time I tell this, the family relives the hilarity. And Al just grins. (He gave me permission to tell this, by the way.) If you missed his mistake in the quotation above, look again.

As a writer, I roam around fields of words, searching for just the right one at the right time. Often, they’re as elusive as falling leaves.

But I keep trying. Which is why the words below, most of which I’ve never heard, are fascinating. Try your hand at identifying them. Choose from the list of descriptors that follow the first list. (Answers are at the end of this blog. But don’t peek. I knew 3 and guessed 3 correctly. Grade: F):

Can You Match These Weird Words to Their Meaning?

  1. glabella                   i. the plastic or metallic coating at the end of shoelaces
  2. petrichor                 ii. the sheen of light you see when you close your eyes
    and press your hands on them
  3. wamble                   iii. illegible handwriting
  4. vagitus                    iv. little toe or finger
  5. tines                       v. the smell after it rains
  6. phosphenes            vi. the metal gadget used to measure your feet at the store
  7. box tent                   vii. the day after tomorrow
  8. over morrow          vii. the prongs of a fork
  9. minimus                 ix.  the wire cage that holds the cork on a bottle of champagne
  10. agraffe                     x. the space between your eyebrows
  11. aglet                        xi. the opening in a shirt where the sleeves are sewn in
  12. vocables                 xii. the sick feeling after eating or drinking too much
  13. interrobang            xiii. the dot over an “i” or “j”
  14. columella nasi       xiv. the “na na na” and “la la la” which don’t have meaning in a
    song’s lyrics
  15. armscye                 xv. finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning
  16. dysania                xvi. when your stomach rumbles
  17. griffonage            xvii. the combination of question mark and exclamation point (?!)
  18. tittle                    xviii. the cry of a newborn baby
  19. crapulence           xix. the little plastic gadget in the middle of a pizza box
  20. Bannock device  xx. the space between your nostrils

Vocabulary like this can trip us up. Confuse us. Lead us astray. Even discourage us.

God, on the other hand …

One of my favorite Bible verses is in Proverbs, the book of wisdom.

“Every word of God is flawless …”
Proverbs 30:5 NIV

Wow. Every. Single. Word. Without flaw. Perfect. That’s beyond imagining, isn’t it? It’s impossible to grasp. Mind bending, especially considering my wicked thoughts and poor choices of words. Thank God He’s flawless. Not an iota of imperfection. My perfect plumb line. I’d be lost without the eternal Point of Reference.

Perfect Words for Life

The words I type onto a page are flawed. That’s where the editor comes in. So are the words I speak. Matter of fact, my whole life is one big typo. How about you? Thankfully, Jesus Christ wites out every imperfection. He took care of Track Changes long ago.

 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 NIV

So long for another week, friends. Let’s revel in the joy of flawlessness through Jesus Christ.

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, thank you for providing the perfect plumb line, Jesus Christ. We’re forever grateful for your grace that covers every flaw. Way better than Wite Out. And for your perfect Word that equips us for every good work.
~ For Jesus’ sake

P.S. And the answer is

Here are the correct answers. Pat yourself on the back if you got even one of these. (Who in the world uses them, anyway? And to think God knows every word devised by man)

1. glabella

x. the space between
your eyebrows
6. phosphenes
 Sheen of light when you press your hands on your closed eyes
11. aglet

i. plastic/metallic
coating at end of

16. dysania

xv. Difficulty getting out of bed in morning

2. petrichor
 the smell after rain
7. box tent
 Little plastic gadget in middle of pizza box
12. vocables
 Lyrics “na na na” and “la la la” with no meaning
17. griffonage
 illegible handwriting
3. wamble
 stomach rumbles
8. overmorrow
 day after tomorrow
13. interrobang
  (?!) question mark with exclamation point
18. tittle
 the dot over an “i” or a “j”
4. vagitus
 newborn’s cry
9. minimus
 little toe or finger
14. columella nasi
 space between
19. crapulence
 sick feeling after eating or drinking too much
5. tines

viii. prongs of fork

10. agraffe

ix. wire cage on champagne bottle’s cork
15. armscye
 Armhole where sleeves are sewn
20. Bannock device
xx. metal gadget used to measure feet at store


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