The people of 2012


I hardly possess the courage to use the new tool, so generously gifted to me by a relative willing to follow my 2012 Jeff Christmas list. But I can’t resist the temptation to go boldly where I have never stepped before. Yet, even with the threat of a well written, sarcastic yet apodictic Letter to the Editor accusing me of stupidity or ignorance regarding my use of the English language, I cautiously enter a new world.

My column has appeared in this publication every week since the first edition hit your mailbox in October of 2006. I am challenged each week to weave together a story describing the wonderful, generous and amazingly gifted volunteers who live among us in this great community. But, my ability to limn is sometimes hampered by my fusty vocabulary. How many times have I penned the words great, amazing or wonderful when referring to these really terrific volunteers?

So, under the tree on Christmas morn was a box wrapped with festive Santa paper adorned by a fluffy red bow. When shook, I was encouraged it may very well be the box I hoped contained the gift I thought would set me free from the vernacular world of wonderful, generous and amazing; not to mention terrific. Not just any Thesaurus was inside that red bowed box, but the nuclear version of a Thesaurus. The “Thinker’s Thesaurus” which claims the words contained within its covers will not be found in Roget’s or Webster.

Clearly, this book is not a toy. The 7-pound-8-ounce weapon must be used with proper context and without the slightest hint of meliority. But, when used properly, wonderful, generous and amazing disappear and become the words of simple grammar school students.

Starting today, I can more clearly and precisely describe the generous people manning the food pantries, free medical clinics and various homeless shelters in our county by working in caritative? Are the eleemosynary among us better portrayed and thus more visible to you?

Perhaps the Lions Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis and other civic groups should be from this day forward told how galumptious their work really is. Mirific in the headline is sure to grab reader’s attention and erase wonderful forever from my vocabulary.

But, after only just a few hours holding the keys to the lexicon kingdom, I realized no matter how many times I say it and no matter what form it takes, it is the people of 2012 who made my columns a pleasure to present.