Optics and Perception

Why take a scientific term like “optics” and start using it to replace an ordinary word like “appearances” or “perception?”

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Stint and Stent

It’s not uncommon to see comments like these in web postings:
The artery was far too small to fit a stint.
Initially, they put in a stint and ordered an ERCP to determine the nature of the mass causing the blockage. 
They went in, got the stone, and put in a stint so any future stones would just

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Jeopardy: Stanch and Staunch

Jeopardy clues are written by a team of nine writers. One of their goals is to ensure there’s only one possible response, but they don’t always

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February

The disconnect between the spelling and pronunciation of some English words is not a sinister plot to annoy English

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New Word: DeVossed

A Google search for “devossed” in quotation marks brings up only 521 hits on February 9, 2017, but my spidey sense tells me this word is destined to achieve greater numbers in the following weeks and months.
The Urban Dictionary has already posted an entry:
DEVOSSED: When the last tiny shred of hope is shattered. Origin: Betsy

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Gaslighting

The villainous husband in Gaslight has slipped a previously lost object into his wife’s purse. He insists that she put it there.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Gaslight (1944) starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.
Based on a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton and directed by George Cukor, Gaslight combines an extraordinarily talented

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A More Acceptable Name for the Murderous Horde

Americans are acquainted with two acronyms used by world leaders and journalists to refer to a terrorist organization that wishes to impose sharia law on  the world: ISIS and ISIL.
This weekend, owing to the horrendous events in Paris, English-speakers previously unacquainted with it have been introduced to another acronym. In French, it’s spelled DAESCH; in

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