Lots of correct ways,
including "SAV" and "SALV."
Part of speech:
Both a noun ("a salve")
and a verb ("to salve something.")
A salve is a medicated goop that you put on a sore or wound.
So, more loosely, a salve is anything that works to soothe something.
It's a verb, too: you salve something, meaning you soothe it as if you're applying a healing, pain-relieving goop to it.
salves, salved, salving
How to use it:
For the noun, talk about something being a salve to something or for something: "His words were a salve to our injured feelings." "We're in desperate need of a salve for these difficulties."
You can leave out "to" and "for" and just call something a salve: "Music is such a salve."
And, you can take the metaphor further and talk about putting or applying a salve on/onto/to the wound of something: "The relaxed laws apply a salve to the wound of overly harsh jail sentences." "Laughter is the salve that can temporarily relieve the pain of grief."
The verb helps you be a little more concise. Something salves something else: "His words salved our injured feelings." "The laws salved the overly harsh jail sentences."
So, why not just say "soothe" instead of "salve"? Either is fine, but "salve" adds that inherent comparison: your words, actions, or whatever are likened to that soothing, smooth, oily, goopy, healing, medicated stuff that get smeared on the problem or the pain, bringing comfort and relief.
To the critical observer, any large corporation's public act of philanthropy is just a salve for the CEO's guilty conscience.
In the summer, in a town where most buildings don't have air conditioning, a ride in an air-conditioned car is a welcome salve but certainly not a solution for the constant heat-induced fatigue.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "salve" means when you can explain it without saying “remedy" or "soothe."
Think of something that helped you feel better after a disappointment, a loss, or a failure, and fill in the blanks: "(Thing) provided a welcome salve for my (sad feeling or sad experience)."
Example: "Laughing with my cousins provided a welcome salve for our grief over the loss of our grandmother."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for July is called A Verbal Tour of the US. I’ll ask you a trivia question each day this month about the names of US cities, states, geographic features, etc. Try it out each day, and see the right answer the next day. Happy verbal trails to you!
Despite being British, Elton John has often sung about places in the US. Which places do these lyrics describe?
1. “'Western skies' don't make it right 'Home of the brave' don't make no sense I've seen a scarecrow wrapped in wire Left to die on a high ridge fence It's a cold, cold wind It's a cold, cold wind It's a cold wind blowing, _____”
2. “Ghosts of the old South are all around me Yea swing high, yea swing low Here on this porch swing in _____”
3. “Gone to _____ for the Union Shoulder to shoulder, side by side Gone to _____, hope springs eternal When flags and bullets start to fly”
4. “_____ at last, and the plane touches down The hostess is handing the hot towels around.”
1. “It’s a cold wind blowing, Wyoming.”
2. “Here on this porch swing in Tupelo.”
3. “Gone to Shiloh.”
4. “Boston at last.”
Try this last one today:
What do the names of Sunnydale, CA; Castle Rock, ME; and Winchestertonfieldville, IA all have in common?
A Point Well Made:
Oliver Sacks: “We would have no idea of the resources which exist in potentia, if we did not see them called forth as needed.”
1. The opposite of SALVE is
2. _____ proved a salve to the nation's anger.
A. A series of harsh restrictions on trade
B. Vague promises for improvements to be made at some point
C. A withdrawal of and apology for the unfair demands
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.