n. a ruler with total control; a tyrant, autocrat.
Dude, my five-pound Yorky, seeshimself as king of our house, a real despotwith all of us under his paw. Amy’s cat, Meatloaf, never yields to doggydespotism, of course.
: n. a brown-noser; one who flatters others; a toady.
Kids dislike sycophants because
their brown-nosing is so hypocritical. Powerful people must enjoy that servile
flattery or we wouldn’t have so many sycophants.
n. one who is overly, almost sinfully, hungry for something, usually
food n. glut v. to glut.
Amy’s a glutton for roles on stage. “I’ll play any part,” she says.
Recently, wrapped in thick padding, she portrayed Gluttony itself in a Christian morality play about the seven deadly
n. someone who lives for pleasure or happiness
In class we discussed the Greeks’ doctrine of hedonism, which held that happiness or pleasure was the sole good in life. We contrasted the hedonist’s pleasure-seeking goals with the Puritan’s spiritual, work-oriented life, and ended up voting for a blend of the two—the old Greek “golden mean.”
n. one who pretends to a life or beliefs that he doesn’t honestly have;
a phony or fake.
The guys I know don’t admire a hypocrite or hypocrisy of any kind. It’s so phony. Think about Arthur Ashe, who
was always honest and straightforward, never phony. “Not a hypocritical bone in him,” my friend Jason maintains.
n. one who differs from accepted belief or theory
“Would you guys hang me as a heretic if I suggested eliminating the
Social Corner?” I asked the newspaper. They agreed to cut the column and admitted
that occasionally heretics have good
ideas. (But often the mere suspicion of heresy is fatal. Witches were burned as
heretics by fanatics, remember?)
n. a quack or fraud; a cheat, impostor
My dad’s office is just
recovering from being cheated by a master charlatan
who posed as a management consultant.
The real skill of charlatans is lying
n. one who stubbornly holds to his own opinions
I hope age doesn’t turn me into
a narrow-minded bigot like some I
know. I hate prejudice, and bigoted people
are usually very opinionated.
n. a greedy, grasping person. (L. miser = miserable)
One of my friends is really a miser, in contrast to the rest of us, who
are mainly generous guys. We tease him about being a miserly Scrooge type, but his stinginess is less amusing as time
n. a rebel; one who rises up in revolt.
As an editor I need to study
newspapers, so I’m always aware of insurgent
forces in other countries. My sympathies are with insurgents whenever they’re revolting against a cruel political
regime, as in Haiti.
n. a fanatic; someone devoted beyond reason to a cause or belief.
As the self-appointed defender
of the family, Dude is our personal zealot.
Daily he patrols our property, barking zealously-fanatically-whenever
a stranger threatens to cross over into his territory.
n. one who doubts or waits to pass judgment.
Thomas Huxley, the famous English biologist, knew that
a good scientist was a skeptic. He
said, “Skepticism is the highest of
duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” A skeptic is the opposite of a zealot of fanatic