Good Point
Off the Wall, Mar 6
, 2014

As I was taking my mall walk not long ago, two women snuck up behind me and passed me on the right. In doing so, it was plain to hear a few words of their conversation. It’s not my practice to ease drop, but when there are people at ear’s length, one cannot help but catch some of what is being said.

It didn’t take long that they were well ahead of me. But something different caught my attention, a phrase that was used – actually the only words that I heard – “the point of the story...” That got me thinking. “You know,” I said to myself, “there is a story here.” The more I thought and researched the word; I was overwhelmed with what I found.

According to, there are dozens of usages. Since my space is somewhat limited, I will highlight some of the ones that us commoners are more familiar and put aside those used by technologists. I will also throw in some names of associates to give the definitions a little more pizazz.

“Hey Roger, you cut that electrical line like it was paper. The point on that knife must be really sharp.”
“Now, I can understand, Mark, how you get such good reception on your radio. The tapered end on your antenna is sharp.” Many vacation spots have land projecting into the water. People, such as Don, will vacation will travel to peninsulas, capes or promontories.

“Hey Pee Vee, you didn’t put a point after the word, “faith.” You’ve got to put a period there!
“Connie was traveling to Kansas and wanted to know the connections to Chicago and points west.” John pointed at the children near the elementary school to cross the street. “Eric, you better get another pen. Your point appears to be running out of ink.” Maggie uses a pointed tool called an etching needle in doing her artwork.

And to think those are just a few points to ponder.

“Quick, put your cloth on Jack’s wound. That is a good pressure point!” Greg shouted. “Everything points to Ashley who made that tasty spaghetti,” Tony said. When a certain parish member spelled out the facts, Michael said, “Your points are well taken,” or, “Your statements are a case in point.” “Hey Eloise, thanks for pointing out those Northern Lights in the sky,” Paul said.

In talking about the present times, Sharon asked Theresa, “Do you think our economic conditions point to further inflation?” While traveling home from Johnstown, Brian noted a sign pointing west. Sometimes when people feel really sick from the flu, for example, they may state, “I feel as though that I am at the point of death.” When Laura visited Sue, she made a point of complimenting her apartment.

Steve loves to talk about history, particularly the Civil War. “At this point in time, the women made great bread.” “Hey Scott, better crimp those hook points before fishing,” the instructor said.” That way fish removal will be easier.”

Sometime in the past, one may have stated that Barb was a hardcore individual. However, she did have good points as well.

Janice looked at the scoreboard and told her husband that the Pirates were ahead of the Dodgers, 7 – 2, a five-point difference.

“Hey, did you see that ring that Debbie was wearing? Even though a unit of weight or point is equal to .01 carat, it would take me hours to calibrate that rock on her finger!”

When John got up to make his presentations, he kept bringing up information that was beside the point, not relevant to the subject at hand. “In point of the scripture of the last lesson,” he was stating “in the matter of or regarding” he would then tie the various subject matter together.

Without mentioning names, I know some people who will score points off which is another way of stating gaining an advantage at someone else’s expense.

I watched Phil’s dog point at a pheasant. No, it wasn’t using one of its paws to show its master where the bird may be found. You think I’m really stretching the point, don’t you? It first smelled it, then stopped, standing perfectly still. Holding its head motionless, his snout told the story.

So, if you are walking at the mall, crowded store or visiting with relatives and hear the word “point” used in a sentence and may not be familiar with how it is utilized, maybe it’s slang, who knows?

- Paul J. Volkmann
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