Sometimes it’s a dirty word

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 20, 2003

What I like about this so-called high-tech world of today is the number and kind of gadgets you can buy to make life easier on the brain. You know, calculators and the like. You can even jog with a CD blasting your ears, pick up your cell phone while sitting on your toilet or in your boat and talk to someone doing the same a thousand miles away. And I remember my brother and his neighbor sitting in chairs 10 feet apart, fishing from the bank of the river and talking to each other on cell phones. And users can kill you on the highway. When you write a column, which I try to do twice a week, it’s best your word processor have a &uot;spell check&uot; you can use, assuming you are educated enough to use and understand it. I sometimes have trouble believing what it tells me but that’s beside the point. My most favorite electronic device is the thesaurus, a word I had to look up just now, which often supplies one with synonyms, a classier choice of word for the boring one you use all the time.

Believe it or not there is no synonym for reelected. There is an explanation of the word, which is really a combination of two words even though I have never heard of the word &uot;re.&uot; I use &uot;reelected&uot; every time I write about politicians because that word is the central theme of their lives. Rare is the elected person who from day one on the job is not thinking about being reelected, and scheming how to make it happen. It is possible, but only if the successful candidate had been told he/she has less than six months to live. Quite often I feel that is the only condition upon which a person should be allowed to run for any office above dogcatcher. Maybe a year… but only if it has been certified by a doctor.

Because there is no synonym for &uot;reelected&uot; I have a devised a few of my own. And perhaps you would like to supply a few of yours. My e-mail is below and I would be happy to publish them. Who knows, some thesaurous/thesaurus-maker might adopt them and put your name in the Guinness Book of Records. In too many cases &uot;criminal&uot; may be a proper synonym and fit the bill, or &uot;grabber.&uot; Despoiler? Grafter? Sometimes one word won’t suffice so it requires, &uot;ignorer of the peoples will.&uot; Or &uot;accepter of ill-gained money for future campaigns.&uot; Perhaps, &uot;to hell with what would be good for the people, what’s good for me?&uot; Sometimes these words or terms could be applicable even if they had only months to live. Now don’t wet your pants, I’m not referring to the rare saintly person who gained office only to do good. I’m trying to think of some right now. I’m writing about typical politicians hoping to pad their income and campaign fund no matter what harm it might bring to the community or taxpayers that elected them. They don’t necessarily do it all the time, just often enough. You work on those names.

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On an unrelated subject it’s quite obvious that Suffolk City Government officials are having a difficult time getting a much-needed break from the State. Our officials state that they will continue to lobby the General Assembly for Adequate School Facilities Ordinance Legislation. Not an ordinary mouthful but very important to Suffolk and other cities in the Commonwealth that are financially strained by uncontrolled residential growth. What it means is that we want to hold up growth in certain areas until we have the necessary schools in place to house the children that come with growth. If not, then our only solution is to keep buying and placing the kids in those temporary classrooms (called learning cottages by some) making it nearly impossible to properly educate children. Seems the ordinance would be a simple solution to a difficult problem.

It appears, however, the politicians in Richmond won’t let the idea escape from committee. Two reasons they didn’t were in the shoes of two committee members, Delegates Lionell Spruill and Chris Jones, both representing us, who seem to be at odds with our city’s needs. It appears they stood with the developers on the issue… build first and force the city to catch up later. Several of us would like to know why, and hope it wasn’t for the reason we suspect.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail: