This post brought to you by happyblonde who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much. I am tickled!
I have only just started down this brand new path of using written words to express myself. I am more of an artsy fartsy type, but one day several months ago for some reason I started to see words as art. I would very much like to explain, not only what I see but how I came to this idea, but as yet the words I need to draw that escape me. Words amuse and delight me. especially when I can manipulate them in clever and funny ways. I like it the most when I amuse others but I am content with word art for my enjoyment. Every once in a while I manage to crack myself up enough that I am only fulfilled if I share. While the point of the blog is in fact the sharing I am putting all my observations and opinions out there cracked as they are. I most assuredly have favorites that I, when I posted them, was dying to see if I could indeed make others laugh as much as myself.
I had a brief shining moment in high school where I loved English class. I loved writing my thoughts and forming them in to a concept. We read books and wrote essays. I always enjoyed word-of-the-day and I have added several words I like because they are colorful or clever or just because of the way they feel rolling off my tongue to my daily vocabulary. Not that I use them daily but they are kept near surface level at easy reach should I come across an opportunity to use them. I mention that they are part of my daily vocabulary, as opposed to a part of my other vocabulary lists. I am not sure if proper vocabulary etiquette dictates that every word I know and use is part of my vocabulary and that is that but I have several vocabulary lists that I use for different purposes. So all the words are my total vocabulary but I would be overwhelmed if I could not break them into smaller more manageable choices that fit a purpose. Sometimes I have a brain fart when searching for a word and it helps to narrow the choices. If I am using my smartass vocabulary list and in searching for a word I come up with a non smartass word, I can instantly discard it instead of pausing to consider. It cuts down on mistakes too. Using a word incorrectly is a pet peeve of mine. So is using a word that is much too big for the britches it is wearing. This is usually something that a person who is too big for their britches does.
I am going to take a minute here to ask what the term too big for their britches really means? When it is spoken , I hear someone trying to be someone they are not, snotty, conceited arrogant. which is my intended meaning. But when I typed it and looked at it I just can not get the mental image of Chris Farley as Tommy Boy out of my head at the part where he puts on David Spade’s coat and sings ” Fat Guy in a Little Coat” at which point the coat splits at the seams. Except of course the word is britches or pants. But I still see the damn coat. And of course it is literal. Distracting. Like butterflies.
For the sake of brevity, which any of you that come here often may be snickering at right now, I am going to resort to lists because we still have a lot of ground to cover to get to my intended point. there is one I promise. Hang in there it all comes together in the end. The problem I am thinking is not my ability to deliver the point, it is the ability to get to it without digressing. Digress is one of those words of the day from Mrs Dieters 1oth Grade Honors English class that I remember and is included in my daily vocabulary list. I am not sure what made it stick but it seems to be a word that comes in handy for me almost daily.
Which reminds me, my brief shining moment with daily vocabulary words as I already mentioned was in 10th grade, taught by a dynamo named Mrs Dieter and she was one of those teachers that made an impact on my life. She made an impact on everyone one way or another but I loved her. She was about 3 feet tall and wore 7 inch heels everyday. She was funny and smart. I guess smart is stating the obvious. All teachers are smart. Yes I am aware of the dreaded generalization, it is a complimentary one and I do not feel like pointing out that I realize there are probably a few teachers that slipped through the cracks – like my 11th grade Honors English teacher. Let’s move on. Mrs.D was gregarious, loud, opinionated, occasionally redundant, flirtatious – make that coy and had an infectious laugh. She had long fingernails too. At least that is how I remember them. Short hair, false eyelashes that were sometimes a little crooked, a comical cutesy face and big lips. Or bright lipstick anyways. It has been a long time since 10th grade folks so I am speaking more about impression rather than her real features but I could pick her out in a line up if I had to.
She made English fun for me. She liked my writing style and I got A’s on all my papers. And this was during a year I was superbly skilled at just getting by because I could do that. With little to no effort. True Story. But word of the day was the coolest thing I learned that year. I don’t think it was common back then like it is now. I had never thought of the idea of learning a new word every day but I had a strong background in word usage, word play ( my family is a bunch of comedians let me tell you. Puns and sarcasm being favorite past times. Sarcasm is a past time just trust me.) and was a firm believer in use of synonyms That right there is a great reason to learn as many words as you can, so that they are easily interchangeable for your purpose. She did that with aplomb.
I hear some grumblings out there regarding dear Mrs Dieter and all I have to say to grumblers is you had your moment in a different class with a different teacher – maybe say 11th Grade Honors English – and that may be the same class that my shining moment became a dull glow that eventually burnt out. ( I worked my butt off for the cranky old man unlike previous year and he hated everything I wrote, every opinion I had. I got F’s on all but 1 paper just to let you in on it. Big Meanie!)
For that one shining moment I might have been an English teacher myself. Or majored in it in college. Or written a book. Or maybe a blog. The problem with the las t one of course being that there was no such thing as a blog back in the Tween Ages. The Tween Ages refer to the time between the Dark Ages II before computers and the New Age of Enlightenment which is self-explanatory.
I am just going to tell you right here this is most definitely one of those times that you should assume I am talking out my ass.You no longer have to assume as I am telling you I made all that up. I could not help myself – If you have a test coming up or Jay Leno stops you on the street, the answer is never Tween Ages. I wasn’t going to say anything but the guilt of the possiblities……well better safe than sorry I guess.
Here I am writing a blog today, 26 years later. And although I didn’t realize it the time I started thinking of words as art, I can actually say my shining moment and Mrs Dieter are part of the reason I am here today.
Earlier I mentioned lists. You thought I forgot I know but I did not. And we are back to brevity. It makes me feel better to think I am at least trying. How about you? Lists to make it short and sweet. Or just to break it up a bit however it works out.
Favorite words from 10th Grade:
I am slightly embarrassed because I can not recall many more at the moment. Those are some of my favorites that I use often and the other neat thing, I find I am familiar with a large amount of words that probably were part of that word of the day. After all I gave you 7 words, and there are somewhere around 200 days of school. Give or take.
Pet peeves about word usage:
- People whose daily vocabulary consists of approximately 8th grade level words trying to use 10th grade or higher words in their conversation for the purpose of appearing smart. I hate it. It takes every ounce of will power I have to keep from asking if they are sure they are qualified to use that word.
- mispronunciation – its livid not levid.
- My kids asking CAN they have something. The younger ones are of course immune until I get tired of drilling them.
- People who make up words. Yes I know I am guilty of that but I make up a word and I know it isn’t a word. I either make it glaringly obvious (dufusactyl, hooey bunk, but wonky is in fact a legitimate word) or so subtle that it slips by easily. For example: emptiers. I used this in my Size Does Matter post knowing full well that it is not a word. Why? Because it is so subtle that it is easy to miss and even to someone who pauses it is believable enough that they would rather keep reading than stop and look it up because they are trying to find the end. It sounded better than the real word equivalent and I was feeling mischievous. I am silly like that sometimes. What I am referring to are the made up words that people use thinking they are real and by doing so make themselves look like idiots. Normalcy? Enough said.
- Redundancy. again guilty but usually purposefully. example; revert back to and no I don’t do that.
- You and I or me and various glaring misuses of pronouns
There are more. It could be a post all its own, which I may end up doing just because I don’t want to lose you and I haven’t explained what we are doing here today but it shall now be revealed. And I don’t think I am quite ready to admit I am actually a fanatic. Yet I can not deny I am a word snob. I try to keep it to myself though. I don’t correct people unless it is an egregious error. Or I gave birth to said person. Or I am pissed and looking for a way to get in a good dig. So maybe snob is a little harsh? Feeling mildly vulnerable now.
What got me pondering words, using them, how I came to be able to do it well and different vocabulary lists was a neat thing that happened to me the other day. A woman named Michele Peterson-Rufener. She writes a blog here on Word Press and she nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I think her and I would be friends in real life. She is witty and bright she has a twinkle in her eye and looks like a friend type. That of course is again an impression from reading her blog… Bet I am right though.
I am not sure what this award is all about, or how she picked me but I assure you I feel all kinds of honored. For lots of reasons. It means I impressed her or at least made her laugh. It means I am well, versatile. At first I thought it was a joke me being so gullible and all. NOT that I thought this wonderfully funny lady was playing a malicious trick on me! I had butterflies in my stomach. I never got nominated for anything when I was a kid. Or lately for that matter. I feel special. More specialness than my daily sunshine affirmation. I have to do a few things now. I have to link to Michele’s blog happyblonde (done x 3 !)thank her, which you may have caught at the beginning but thank you again Michele, and then I must nominate 15 others that I feel deserving and to top it off tell you 7 things about myself.
I have decided to take pity on us all and make this a 2 part post. I have never done this before but I am indeed versatile. It’s a pretty cool thing. It means having great diversity or variety, changeable or inconstant, competent in many areas and able to turn with ease from one thing to another, able to move freely in all directions. I am wondering if bipolar is listed anywhere as a synonym. It fits. And I can dig that. I am versatile.
Join me in the next installment of Basking in my Versatility. That is not really the name. It is the same as this one. Part 2. and shorter. See you soon. I do not know how long the intermission will be. Remain versatile. 🙂