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Feb. 18, 1997



By Peggy McCracken

Broach the subject

of missing brooch

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Principal or principle? Poring or pouring? Parlay or parley? How do you
know which word to use when writing a sentence? That's one area where a
speaker has the advantage. Since the words sound the same, he doesn't
have to worry about the spelling. But in writing, the same-sounding
words have very different meanings.

Or at least some different. When I ran onto the word "principle" in a
court document last week in relation to the amount of money owed on a
loan, I thought it should be "principal." But what do I know? Lawyers
concerned with loans should know the difference in "principle" and
"principal," I thought. But to be sure, I checked the synomyns for both
words on my computer's thesaurus. Not clear. I asked Jon Fulbright, our
managing editor and triva expert. "Principal, I think," he said. But I
remembered the rule I've used in the past: Think "pal" for principal of
a school. Can "pal" mean a loan, as well? Not satisfied, I checked
Webster. Sure enough, "principal" it is.

Dilemmas like that one are common around a newspaper office. I've
noticed many of my colleagues write "pouring" over a document when they
don't mean wetting it with water. What they really mean is "poring,"
looking it over or studying it closely.

Maybe they need to parley - or is it parlay? Parley is a conference to
try to settle problems in a dispute. Parlay is to bet an original
amount, plus winnings; also to increase an asset. Well, wouldn't getting
the right word be increasing an asset?

Words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different
meanings are called homonyms. My favorite wordsmith, Peter Funk, uses 20
homonyms in the February issue of Reader's Digest to "enrich your word
power." Is it gibe or jibe? Broach or brooch? Vial or vile? Maze or
maize? Reek or wreak? Braise or brays? Leach or leech? Seer or sear?

Some of them are easy to figure out. Everyone knows maize is corn and
maze is a complex network. But what about leach and leech? One is to
extract substances with water, the other is a blood-sucking parasite.
But which is which?

We had a columnist once who used "vile" when he meant a small bottle -
a "vial." And his stories were published in national magazines with the
wrong word sticking out like a sore thumb.

How can we expect children to learn the correct use and spelling of
words if we who are supposed to set the example are careless? Since my
second year in school when I made 55 on a spelling test that I hadn't
had a chance to study for, I have been a stickler for correct spelling.
But sometimes the right word just won't come to me. And with a computer
screen that makes words look different than they do on paper, it's hard
to see the mistakes.

Spell checkers are nice in principle, but they don't always catch the
principal mistake. If my words don't jibe, my readers may gibe me, and I
won't be able to parlay my prose into paydays if I don't parley with my

Oh to be a seer in this searing business.

"Every word of God is flawless..." Proverbs 30:5a, NIV.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer, editorial page
editor and Living off the Land editor whose column appears each Tuesday.


Students view careers through local workers

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Dear Editor:
I as an educator for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD am extremely grateful
for having citizens help me educate my vocational students on the
importance of their careers.

It is because of individuals such as these who continue to make a
difference in the lives of our students. They encourage our students to
make a difference in our community by their vocations.

- Pecos Fire Department and its many volunteers who took the time to
come into our classroom and demonstrate what a volunteer fireman does in
a time of an emergency. They taught us about fire prevention techniques
in our homes and in our schools.

- Mrs. Nora Briceno, who came into our classroom as a Mary Kay
consultant and taught us the importance of good hygiene. The students
were given facials and were introduced to the career of being a beauty

- Mrs. Billie Sadler, a speaker for Black History Month. She gave a
wonderful presentation on Black leaders who gave of themselves
unselfishly and ultimately changed the course of history for each and
every one of us. Through this knowledge she shared with us we began to
look within ourselves as to what we could do for our community that
would make a difference for future generations.

It's because of citizens such as these that Pecos should be extremely
proud to have living among us. They willingly gave of themselves to help
educate our students, and I and my students are deeply moved by their
willingness to help us become the best that we can be in our community.

Community of Pecos, please help us by thanking these wonderful citizens
the next time you see them.

Here is a poem by Karen Ravn that I would like to share with the
community of Pecos.

To achieve all that is possible we must attempt the

To be as much as we can be, we must dream of being more.

-- Miss Audra Marie Lozano
Special Education Teacher
Pecos High School


Reaching out to sexual trauma victim

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs

No one who has heard or read about incidents of sexual assault against
women in the military can feel anything but deep regret and sorrow,
perhaps anger, that such an incident could have occurred to someone
while in service to our country. It is wrong for any woman to undergo
such a devastating experience.

But in the military, where trust and camaraderie are such an integral
part of military life, a profound sense of betrayal compounds the other
devastating effects sexual trauma can have on a person's physical and
emotional health.

Many women veterans have come to the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) for counseling and treatment for the after effects of sexual
trauma. But we know that many more have never discussed it with anyone.
They may be uncomfortable talking about their experience and even wonder
if they can.

This unfortunately common reaction to sexual trauma is something that
we in VA are trying to counter by reaching out to women veterans to let
them know that there is help available to them.

VA has a cadre of dedicated, compassionate professionals who can
provide confidential priority counseling and treatment for the victims
of sexual assault, battery or harassment while on active duty. Since
1992, when legislation authorized VA to provide sexual trauma
counseling, more than 15,000 women veterans have been treated in Vet
Centers and medical centers.

We have been able to help them regain their self-confidence and
self-esteem, and improve the quality of their lives.

To reach us, women veterans can call our national toll-free telephone
number -- 1-800-827-1000 -- and be put in touch with a women veterans'
coordinator at a VA regional office who can give them information on VA
programs and assist in referring them to a VA medical center, Vet Center
or community program.

Women veterans also can get information on VA compensation benefits for
disabilities or injuries resulting from sexual trauma.

I recently sent letters to some 400,000 women veterans to tell them
about the programs and services available to them -- special programs
targeted to meet their unique health-care needs, including counseling
and treatment for sexual trauma. VA facilities across the nation also
are conducting outreach campaigns of their own.

It is VA's goal to ensure that we are meeting the health-care needs of
women veterans -- now numbering 1.2 million. And it also is our goal to
make them aware of the benefits they have earned and deserve. Today,
women comprise some 14 percent of the active military force. VA will
continue to be there for these women when they leave military service,
and we will continue to reach out to those who need our help.


Budget says Bill still walks fence

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Many people have said that once Bill Clinton no longer had to run for
president his true colors would show through. The first budget proposal
of his second term proves that Clinton still wants to be all things to
all people.

The president's proposed spending plan features many of the tax cuts he
promised during his re-election campaign, including a $500 tax credit
for parents of young children and another for college expenses. At the
same time he wants to pump more money into government programs,
satisfying the liberals who insist on more and more government
involvement in our lives. ...

Clinton plans to pay for these tax cuts and programs by trimming
Medicaid payments and corporate tax breaks. In addition, his $1.69
trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 1998 carries a $125.6 billion
shortfall, up from a $107.5 billion deficit in the current year.
-- The Monitor, McAllen
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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