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What is Your Favorite Kernel of Truth?

Posted by on 6/25/2014
OK, OK. Relax - we're not going to get into an existential, deep pondering here. We were just thinking recently about the word "kernel." Maybe it's because we are around kernels of corn all day and night around here, that we are having one of those days where a word we hear and use so often is not white noise anymore. This is one day where we stop on the word "kernel" and pause to consider it. 

We know we've had instances where we spell out a word on paper a million times correctly, and yet one day we look at it and we swear it doesn't look like it's spelled right. 

That is where we are today with the word "kernel."

So we decided to take this to another level, and think about the word, how it's defined and some of the uses for the word. Maybe this is an opportunity to expand our collective vocabulary!

When we look up the word "kernel," we get these general definitions:
  1. The soft, inner part of a seed, fruit or nut. (Example: I love cracking open a sunflower seed and eating the kernel.)
  2. An entire seed of a cereal (such as a kernel of corn, of course!)
  3. An important part of something. (Ex: The kernel of the attorney's argument is that his client was on the scene of the murder but only had a butcher knife in his hand, not a machete.)
  4. A very small amount of something. (Ex: There is barely a kernel of truth in his testimony before the grand jury.)
  5. The word can also apply to the nucleus of an atom.
  6. It is also used widely in computer science, defined as the central part of any operating system - that which handles input-output and converts that into processing directions for the CPU of a computerized device (like a desktop or smartphone).
Did you get a kernel of knowledge today? Good. Have a few kernels of popcorn to celebrate.