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Jan 14, 2002
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words

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with Anu Garg

"Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else." Like all genuine humor, this waggish remark carries a grain of truth. There are six billion of us around, and we are very different - in our demeanor, diction, and dreams; in our fingerprints, retinal patterns, and DNA sequences.

Yet, no matter which hand we write with, what language we speak, or what we eat, there is something that binds us all, whether it is our preference for a life free from fear, in our efforts to make this world better for us and for others, or in our appreciation of beauty of the soul and our longing for love.

With so many people, so many shared traits, and so many differences, there's no wonder we have so many words to describe people. This week we look at five of them.


(OP-si-math) Pronunciation

noun: One who begins learning late in life.

[From Greek opsi- (late) + math (learning).]

"The question, of course, is whether Paul underwent such a system in his youth or, like many before and after him, was either an opsimath or a natural-born rhetorician."
Stanley B Marrow; Liberating Words; The Catholic Biblical Quarterly (Washington); Jul 1998.


If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot. -John Bunyan, preacher and author (1628-1688)

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