My foray into journalism came when high school friend Nancy Poston invited me to join the 1974 yearbook staff. My specialty was pretending to sell ads while picnicking and playing with friends at Wilder Tower in Chickamauga National Military Park.

Vocationally, however, I headed in other directions until a later friend, Bill Neal, then editor of The Christian Index, invited me to join him as managing editor in 1994.

But whether working in the field or not, I have always been interested in words and various forms of communication. I particularly pay attention to those words I’ve not previously considered.

In the immediate aftermath of sensational Sully Sullenberger’s landing of a US Airways Airbus A320 into the Hudson River on Thursday, aviation-insiders praised his “airmanship.” I don’t recall hearing that term previously, perhaps because of limited exposure to the field of aviation.

“It was a great display of airmanship,” said one veteran pilot in praise of Sullenberger.

Marksmanship, chairmanship, craftsmanship, sportsmanship and penmanship are quite familiar. But airmanship is new to me.

Whatever the meaning, I sure hope the pilots that guide the planes on which I fly have lots of it.

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