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The Dumbbell's Dictionary

Admitted, but if we keep careful observations of the present and the past, we can
certainly predict, with some degree of reliability, what is to come.
Humility, n. Now here’s a point to ponder, regarding the Nation’s most humble man.
Thus: In a recent speech, Jimmy Carter said the following words. „I feel that my role as a
former president is probably superior to that of other presidents. Primarily because of the
activism and the injection of working at the Carter Center and in international affairs, and
to some degree, domestic affairs, on energy conservation, on environment, and things of
that kind…. And the Carter Center has decided, under my leadership, to fill the vacuums
in the world.’ Now, that is hard to top. The Classical Greeks would have been astounded
by this display of hubris.
Hummingbirds, n. The reason they hum is that they don’t know the words.
Hungary, n. A nation in which nobody ever has enough to eat, and the children go to bed
at night with empty tummies.
Hyannisport, n. Estate near Cape Cod where touch football games were a common
occurrence in the 1940’s. Only problem was that if the losing team happened to live
there, they would pack up the football and go into the house.
Hydromatic, adj. Automatic water.
Hyperbole, n. Not, for God’s sake, ever to be confused with exaggeration.
Hypocrisy, n. If truth be told, the state of being of any current American liberal
Democrat.
Hysteria, n. Opposite of herstyria.
I
Iberian Peninsula, n. Home to the present countries of Spain and Portugal. Ruled almost
in its entirety from the late seventh century until the fifteenth century by Muslims who
crossed the Mediterranean from North Africa. Had it not been for their defeat by Charles
„The Hammer’ Martel in 732, in their attempt to cross the Pyrenees and move on into
France, chances are that all of Europe would now be speaking Arabic. (If current trends
continue, that may soon become the case anyway.)
The Muslims were finally expelled („The Last of the Moors’) by Ferdinand and Isabella
upon their uniting Aragon and Castille in 1492. One wonders just how much influence
the Muslim occupation had on the developing Spanish and Portuguese languages. How
much of a jump is it from El Alamein in north Africa to Los Gatos in southern
California? Did the Spanish derive their „el’ for male and „la’ for female more or less
directly from the Muslims?
The Muslims had a great civilization in Iberia, for a while. In the 1100’s Cordova, along
with Bagdad, was one of the richest cities in the world. It couldn’t last, however, not
when the entire Muslim world became bogged down in Sharia and its derivatives. From
the twelfth century on, this civilization that had contributed so much in medicine, science
and technology in centuries past, has contributed virtually nothing.
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