It is surprising to me that even in this humidity (and a rain that turns on and off as though there is a faucet above me) Mordecai was able to set fire to the crab apple tree in the neighbor’s front yard.

Mordecai and our neighbor have been feuding for years, over what one can not be sure. This afternoon, while I was reading in the library, I heard Mordecai yell “You give blood-sucking insects a bad name!” Then there was a small explosion and the distinct smell of burning apple pie.

By the time I reached the front porch, Mordecai had a black eye and was stomping towards me, away from a fully-enflamed crab apple tree and a screaming angry neighbor. Mordecai was smiling.

This brings me to today’s word.

Opprobrium is a noun that means disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy or scornful reproach or contempt.

Opprobrium originates from the Latin opprobrareto reproach – which is from ob –  in the way of plus probrumreproach. It is also similar to the Latin proforward – and to the Latin ferreto carry, bring.

Obviously, this will not be the first time Mordecai enjoys public disgrace from conduct considered grossly wrong or vicious. Of course, he never considers these moments disgraceful.

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