Somewhere between “good” and “lucky” there lies an elusive range of promising developments which portend a bright future, and for these, we need a word. For example, suppose that you are a recent graduate of a certain University’s air traffic control program, and are waiting to get hired by the FAA. When the FAA is considering hiring someone, they send them a “tentative offer letter” which—as the name suggests—is no guarantee of employment. It is, however, an auspicious (aw’SPISH’us) development, at least letting the aspiring controller know that his or her application is being considered.
Auspicious does not mean “lucky”. Luck is rather random, having little to do with planning. It’s lucky, for example, if you win the lottery—it could happen to anyone [who plays the lottery]. Auspicious occasions tend to involve a higher degree of human involvement. For example, Panera Bread restaurants generate huge quantities of fresh bakery items each day, many of which they don’t sell and must therefore throw away at the end of the day. At the same time, there are plentitudes of food banks and homeless shelters which need donations. The auspicious combination of these two realities creates a circumstance where the restaurant can bake lots of fresh goods each day and give the leftovers to the charitable organizations, thus maintaining a reputation for freshness without developing one for wastefulness.
The word “auspicious” simply means promising success, suggesting good things, or working out quite well in the end.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Mark Jacobs. Mark is a volunteer assistant editor for Jet Fuel Review. He is double-majoring in Physics and Air Traffic Control Management at Lewis, but the left side of his brain is an avid writer. Mark is a junior and works as a ramp traffic controller at O’Hare and at Panera Bread, from which he does not steal dozens of bagels every day. He is also a tutor in Lewis’ Writing Center.