If This Isn'T Nice, What Is? Vocabulary List

adios

(vocab lists with adios)
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The words go like this: Adios to teachers and pneumonia.

algerian

(vocab lists with algerian)
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The French Algerian writer Albert Camus, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, wrote that "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide."

aquinas

(vocab lists with aquinas)
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Which brings us to Saint Thomas Aquinas, a great Italian theologian and philosopher who eight hundred years ago perceived a hierarchy of laws which human beings should obey.

australian

(vocab lists with australian)
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He told one of these graduating classes "...we are not members of different generations, as unlike, as some people would have us believe, as Eskimos and Australian Aborigines.

austrian

(vocab lists with austrian)
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In those days, that was like a provincial Frenchman's coming to Paris, or an Austrian bumpkin's coming to Vienna, or, as in the case of Adolf Hitler, to Munich, Germany.

babylonia

(vocab lists with babylonia)
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What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago.

bamboozle

(vocab lists with bamboozle)
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One thing it did was bamboozle many teachers whose authority and glamour was based on their having seen a lot more of life and the world than their students had.

beatles

(vocab lists with beatles)
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He had written that "The function of the artist is to make people like life better than before," and when asked if he'd ever seen that done he answered, "Yes, the Beatles did it."

bedspring

(vocab lists with bedspring)
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In the early days of radio, I remember, people living too close to the transmitter of KDKA in Pittsburgh used to receive soap operas in their bedsprings and bridgework.

blabbering

(vocab lists with blabbering)
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You come along calling us all damn fools--so fierce the froth of your own spit slobbers over your lips--always blabbering we're all going to hell straight off and you know all about it.

bridgework

(vocab lists with bridgework)
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In the early days of radio, I remember, people living too close to the transmitter of KDKA in Pittsburgh used to receive soap operas in their bedsprings and bridgework.

britannica

(vocab lists with britannica)
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Forbes magazine asked me recently what my favorite technologies were, and I said a corner mailbox, my address book, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

buddhist

(vocab lists with buddhist)
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He called this practice "Buddhist Catnaps."

catnap

(vocab lists with catnap)
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He called this practice "Buddhist Catnaps."

cockamamie

(vocab lists with cockamamie)
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He had great big ideas about science, about art, about religion, about evolution, and on and on, which he expressed in his cockamamie summer course.

confucius

(vocab lists with confucius)
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But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese, five hundred years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ.

crackup

(vocab lists with crackup)
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It is about his crackup, straitjacket and padded cell stuff, from which he recovered sufficiently to graduate from Harvard Medical School.

danube

(vocab lists with danube)
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I will now exit while The Blue Danube comes over the PA system.

einstein

(vocab lists with einstein)
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They are the antidote to the poison of the Code of Hammurabi, a formula almost as compact as Albert Einstein's "E = mc2."

eskimo

(vocab lists with eskimo)
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He told one of these graduating classes "...we are not members of different generations, as unlike, as some people would have us believe, as Eskimos and Australian Aborigines.

firebombed

(vocab lists with firebombed)
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Becoming one of Dr. Z's little chickens was one of the most fortunate things which ever happened to me, second only, perhaps, to my having been in Dresden when it was firebombed.

frankenstein

(vocab lists with frankenstein)
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She called it "the monster of Frankenstein."

frenchman

(vocab lists with frenchman)
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In those days, that was like a provincial Frenchman's coming to Paris, or an Austrian bumpkin's coming to Vienna, or, as in the case of Adolf Hitler, to Munich, Germany.

gettysburg

(vocab lists with gettysburg)
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Here is a fact: This wonderful speech is already more than twice as long as the most efficient, effective oration in American history, Abraham Lincoln's address on the battlefield at Gettysburg.

hitler

(vocab lists with hitler)
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All my life I've had people to hate--from Hitler to Nixon, not that those two are at all comparable in their villainy.

hooray

(vocab lists with hooray)
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Hooray for our team!

increasers

(vocab lists with increasers)
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I hope you know that television and computers are no more your friends, and no more increasers of your brainpower, than slot machines.

indochina

(vocab lists with indochina)
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Order couldn't be restored in Indochina until the locals could finally kick us the hell out of there.

italian

(vocab lists with italian)
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Which brings us to Saint Thomas Aquinas, a great Italian theologian and philosopher who eight hundred years ago perceived a hierarchy of laws which human beings should obey.

jeffersonian

(vocab lists with jeffersonian)
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In our all-white sandlot football games, I remember--"Jeffersonian games," you might call them--the ad hoc captain of the side preparing to kick off would call out.

kibbutznik

(vocab lists with kibbutznik)
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I asked after some of my old classmates, kibbutzniks whose theses had been acceptable.

maharishi

(vocab lists with maharishi)
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He satirized the easy promises to inner and world peace being peddled by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in an article for Esquire called "Yes, We Have No Nirvanas."

martian

(vocab lists with martian)
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It's another Martian joke.

midwesterners

(vocab lists with midwesterners)
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The Indiana author celebrates some self-taught Midwesterners who made waves from sea to shining sea.

nicolo

(vocab lists with nicolo)
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He also led protesters at the execution of the anarchists Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in Massachusetts in 1927.

nietzsche

(vocab lists with nietzsche)
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As for boredom: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a German philosopher who died seventy-eight years ago, had this to say: "Against boredom even the gods contend in vain."

october

(vocab lists with october)
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Autumn is September and October.

sacco

(vocab lists with sacco)
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He also led protesters at the execution of the anarchists Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in Massachusetts in 1927.

sandlot

(vocab lists with sandlot)
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In our all-white sandlot football games, I remember--"Jeffersonian games," you might call them--the ad hoc captain of the side preparing to kick off would call out.

spaniard

(vocab lists with spaniard)
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There's this story about Spaniards who were about to burn a Native American alive because he had been uppity some way.

spanish

(vocab lists with spanish)
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Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition.

springier

(vocab lists with springier)
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What could be springier than May and June?

stalin

(vocab lists with stalin)
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Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition.

tinhorn

(vocab lists with tinhorn)
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I mean lascivious, untruthful men, tinhorn Casanovas and sociopathic Lochinvars.

unbreathable

(vocab lists with unbreathable)
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And while we do that, our waste products continue to make the air unbreathable and the water undrinkable, and more and more life forms are dying because of us.

unchallengeably

(vocab lists with unchallengeably)
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Every primitive society ever studied has had a puberty ceremony, at which former children became unchallengeably women and men.

undrinkable

(vocab lists with undrinkable)
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And while we do that, our waste products continue to make the air unbreathable and the water undrinkable, and more and more life forms are dying because of us.

vengefully

(vocab lists with vengefully)
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We may never dissuade leaders of our nation or any other nation from responding vengefully, violently, to every insult or injury.

whoopee

(vocab lists with whoopee)
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As I speak, we are burning the last whiffs and drops and chunks of fossil fuels in a binge of thermodynamic whoopee.

zippier

(vocab lists with zippier)
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Well, as a member of a zippier generation, with sparkle in its eyes and a snap in its stride, let me tell you what kept us as high as kites a lot of the time: Hatred.