When we say something is austere, we evoke everything from an image of monastic poverty to the stark beauty of Modernist design. Because of this, “austerity” as a fiscal policy brings with it the suggestion of a deliberate and disciplined approach to a nation's economy.
Many states have either outlawed or about to outlaw the use of cell phones while driving. But the real dangers of cell phone use while driving are not as obvious as they may seem.
The real danger lies in how the human mind functions.
Oftentimes individuals will explain that they use a “hands-free” headset or in car Bluetooth system. Many times people think that this resolves distraction issues because they believe that it’s the physical interaction with the device itself that causes the problem.
Formerly a prefix, “meta” has now taken on a life of its own, indicating works that are self-consciously self-referential. Ben Zimmer, writing in the Boston Globe in 2012, notes examples in the tech field going as far back as the 1970s.
We use the word “myth” in at least two almost contradictory ways. Most commonly, we use myth to mean falsehood, a hoax without the intention to deceive.
This is the myth sites like snopes.com and shows like Mythbusters serve to dispel. It is also a product of the Age of Enlightenment, when a seemingly rational universe called not for myth but for measurement.
The most powerful lies aren’t the day-to-day, so-called white lies--that we’re ”fine” or that we genuinely care if complete strangers “have a good one.” These are, in fact, sometimes important parts of being polite.
“Momentum” is a word that we don’t usually think of as having a technical origin, even though we hear it used a lot by reporters during election season. A typical use would be something like “Senator Belfry’s campaign seems to have gained momentum following his recent speech to the Bloom County Chamber of Commerce.” There seems to be nothing technical about that.