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Lukaszewski’s Lexicology

Lukaszewski's LexicologyI grew up in a household where at every dinner meal for twenty years, the four of us – Nan, myself, Judy and Wendy – were required by my father to accept a very large word from a very large unabridged dictionary that sat on a pedestal in our dining room. We had to use the words correctly in a sentence before we could leave the table.

All of us have had an extraordinary interest in words all our lives, and so as a way of introducing that interest, one occasional section of the Newsletter will be called “Lukaszewski’s Lexicology.” These are Lukaszewski-isms; words I’ve invented where there seem to be an inadequate supply of existing words to suffice. Here is this month’s batch:

  1. Testosterosis: Men and women both have it. It’s that site of extraordinary irritation and agitation when something goes awry which makes us want to lash out rather than fess up; to slap a few folks around to see what happens; an agitated state caused by adverse circumstances which we regret about the time it begins, but is most often one of the things leaders, lawyers and other top people wind up apologizing for.
  2. Laggership: It is the art of acting with great promptness, but avoiding being first. My metaphor is a military patrol; upon encountering the enemy, it is the lead soldiers in the patrol who are at the greatest risk of injury and death. You can still be an effective, even powerful leader by being a couple of ranks back so you can survive the initial contact with the problem or emergency, and live to tell about it and direct its solution.
  3. Verbal Vegetables: These are words and phrases which, having said them, probably in a weak moment, we will wind up eating, probably publically, very soon. “It wasn’t our fault.” “We’re not bad people.” “Someone would have done it if we didn’t try.” “We would never do that again.” “We are not crooks.” “We did not have sex with that woman.”

James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC; APR, Fellow PRSA, BEPS Emeritus


If you have questions, or would like to dive more deeply into the subject of this blog, you can reach me 24/7 at jel@e911.com; 203-948-7029 (voicemail, email, text). I look forward, as a friend and colleague, to helping you achieve the objectives you’ve set for yourself for having a happier, more influential, successful and meaningful career.

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