Sententia (sen-ten’-ti-a): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegem, gnome, maxim, paroemia, and proverb.

Somewhere, in strange places, in weird times, in the play of conflict and in the throes of rancor, somebody will say “Actions speak louder than words.” Here’s where the opportunity for conflict escalation opens up. I say, “You just SAID that. Actions don’t speak. Their meanings are interpreted with words. For example, pulling a gun’s trigger and killing somebody is an action. But we need to talk about it to determine whether is was an accident, self defense, or murder.” At this point my conversation partner often waves me off, saying “You are full of crap.”

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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