Posts Tagged ‘Words’

Well, if that title didn’t grab your attention and stimulate your curiosity nothing will. Trust me when I say I thought long and hard about which heading to use. Hopefully, by the end of this blog it’ll make sense, but I promise nothing.

As someone who writes for the simple pleasure of doing so, I sometimes go to the old thesaurus in order to mix things up a little. You know, to keep the old blog fresh rather than stale. Nobody likes a stale blog, do they? Anyway, you may have noticed that I like certain words more than others. An example of one of these is “whatnot.” I love the word “whatnot,” and I’ve no idea why. It just sounds cool and sort of rolls off the tongue, ya know? Go ahead, say it aloud, I’ll wait right here.

See?

Anyway, I was thinking about words the other day and why some are cooler than others to me. There’s really no rhyme or reason for my preferences, but I nevertheless have them. That said, what you are about to read is a list of my favorite, and some of my least favorite, words. Stay with me people, with a little luck this might just be interesting. Or maybe not. Don’t get all worked up and whatnot.

Let’s start with my least favorite words. I gotta be careful here, because there are certain words I don’t like simply because of their meaning. You know, like “Bieber”, or “Limbaugh” or “Oprah.” So those don’t count.

But let us proceed.

First, the words that I try not to say out loud:

Tuna

I know, it makes zero sense, but I hate that word. Tuna. And I like to eat tuna, just hate the word. It offends me on some level. At a restaurant I’ll just point to the word on the menu and grunt.

Grunt

Just so many bad connotations here. Nothing pretty about grunting, is there? Yeesh. In addition, I can’t watch women’s tennis because of the grunting.

Pedagogy

This sounds like a little kid trying to say, “Pet a doggie” and I don’t like that. And take it easy, I love kids. That word just blows.

Cacophony

Just a horrific mix of letters. It means “harsh discordance of sound” which seems about right.

Poop

If someone tells me they have to go poop I want to punch them right in the back of the face. And being 7-years old is no excuse. Close second: poopy. On a related note, I hate myself right now.

Behoove

This would actually be a cool word if it wasn’t usually spoken with such smugness by the speaker, as in, “Dave, it would behoove you to leave the bar before you are thrown out.” You know, that sort of thing.

Curds

Didn’t Little Miss Muffet eat curds? And whey? What the hell is a curd? Some variation of turd? Either way, not appetizing nor appealing.

Chipotle

I merely add this because I saw the owner of Chipotle on one of those cooking shows and he was a sanctimonious, egotistical blowhard. Plus, why isn’t it Chipotle’s rather than Chipotle? Pretentious bastards.

Moist

Eew. The many connotations here are so nasty that even I can’t go there.

Ointment

I actually like the first part. “Oint” is sort of cool, reminds me of “oink”, which is a stellar word, but then they added that “ment” at the end and sort of legitimized it, thus ruining the word. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

Note: Did I just write that “oink” was a stellar word? Have mercy.

Discharge

Again, no variation of this word is good, be it something that is oozing out of your body, a gun going off, or being let go from the military and whatnot. Did I mention I love the word “whatnot”?

OK, thank God we got through that unpleasantness. If you’re still with me I applaud your tenacity. Let’s move on to something a little more cheerful. Without further ado (ado, another fine word), here are my favorite words:

Uranus

Come on, everybody loves this word because it’s always good for a laugh, as in, “Can I see Uranus from here?” or “Let’s see if we can see Uranus.” Just straight-fire comedy gold, every single time.

Note: I’m immature. Deal with it.

Snorkel

Just a funny word, but I can never sneak it in a blog like I can sneak in Uranus. Hey-O! Wasirite or Wasirite?

Shenanigans

Maybe the greatest word ever. Just rolls off the tongue like a boss. Say it, and be sure and draw out the beginning, as in S-h-h-h-henanigans. The nani in the middle just does it for me.

Hush

Just a beautiful word, no? H-u-s-h-h-h-h. I love the word hush.

Thusly

Beginning right now, let us all commit to using thusly as much as possible. It’s just a gorgeous word. Having said that, I can think of absolutely no way to use it in a sentence. Except . . . thusly, I am an idiot.

Crestfallen

This is a sad but magnificent word. From this point onward I shall never be depressed, blue, or dejected, but crestfallen. It somehow seems better to be crestfallen than any of those other, less majestic words.

Serendipity

Again, one of those words that just feels good to say out loud. After I make a zillion bucks from this blog and buy a yacht I’ll name it The Serendipity.

Woebegone

See thusly. We all need to make a solemn commitment to use woebegone more.

Splatter

Now, splatter usually brings to mind some unpleasantness, but that’s only because of CSI, Criminal Minds or your Uncle Herschel and his poor bathroom habits. For me, however, it just sounds fantastic rolling off the tongue. SPLAT, but with a little “ter” on the end to finish with a flourish. I swear I’m stone cold sober right now.

Perhaps

Now there’s a beautiful word we can slip in at any time, just like Uranus. Bam! Never gets old.

I also like melancholy, nodule, succulent, scintilla, blooper, bugaboo, and riboflavin. I now, random. But you can’t argue with any of those, right? Awesome words, every one.

So there you have it. My words blog. Bet you never saw that one coming, did you? Neither did I. No idea from whence it came. Whence! Now there’s a fantastic word . . .

Note: This is one of several “Best of Shoe: Untied” retreads I post from time-to-time. Basically I’m going to rerun some of my most popular articles according to comments and pageviews. If you’ve already read them, just move along, nothing to see here. However, if you’re one of my many new readers and haven’t seen some of my earlier stuff, this might be for you. What follows are some of my thoughts regarding our national obsession with what people say and how they say it. It has special significance in relation to Gordon Gee’s recent comments and the trouble they caused him.

So Dane Cook is in some hot water for some joke he made the other night regarding the Colorado shootings. Let me get one thing straight. I’m not a huge Dane Cook fan. I have nothing against the guy, I just find him, well, unfunny, not very creative and exceptionally sort of stupid. That said, the uproar over his comments during his schtick are way over the top in my opinion. After all it was only a joke, nothing more. Just words. Here’s what he said:

“Man, that thing in Colorado was terrible. But you know the new Batman movie sucks, right? I can picture somebody sittting in the 10th row, about 25-minutes into the movie, saying something like, ‘This movie is bad. Somebody shoot me.’ And then . . .”

Hardy-har-har. Sort of amusing but not really. My issue with the joke is not with the content but with the fact that it’s just not that funny. Hey, my friends will tell you I’ve told jokes about 9/11, Dale Earnhardt and almost anything else that might be deemed inappropropriate by normal folks. To me funny is funny,  and my ability to laugh about 9/11 has absolutely zero correlation with my sympathy for the victims and for what happened that day.

They’re only words, folks.

I used to get very upset when people would make an inapproriate comment or a racist joke. And although I still feel a racist joke is ignorant and offensive, I usually don’t say anything anymore. You can’t fight every dumbass in the world, so I just walk away. They’re just words. Actions, on the other hand, can really hurt.

Maybe the Hip-Hop culture has, in a way, contributed to the lessening of the impact when you hear the word with such regularity. So, maybe when I hear it now it’s not so much of a shock. Still, I still hate that damn word. When Jay-Z, Snoop, or anyone else uses it I just cringe. So many negatives over history attached to it.

Ultimately though? Just a word.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the power of words. I understand they can be hurtful. A woman recently told the parent of one of my students that her kid would never learn a thing in my class. Even though I knew it was bullshit it hurt to think someone would think that about something I love to do so much. Words can sting. It’s just that I think as a country we’ve become way too thin-skinned.  I started teaching in the classroom for the first time in 15-years this past year, and at some point (oh, it may have been the first day) I said:

“Alright! Everybody shut up!”

Audible gasps from the students. One of them said, “Mr. Shoe, we’re not supposed to say those words.” There may have even been a tear in his eye.

And to that I responded: “Bleh.”

Appparently these words, over the past few years, have become off-limits in the classroom. Apparently damages self-esteem or something. Listen, if a teacher telling you to shut up destroys your fragile emotional state that badly you’re in for a tumultuous, stressful life.

They’re only words. Here’s some advice. Relax and learn to deal with it, the sooner the better.

And how about the sports teams with the Indian names. Really? Is it really that offensive to American Indians for a team to be called the Redskins? The Seminoles? Is the Chief Wahoo logo really really that upsetting to people? It’s a smiling cartoon head for God’s sake.

Speaking of team names, it seems we’re sort of selective, aren’t we? I mean, I consider myself a good American patriot, but hey New England Patriots, I ain’t mad at ya.

Howza ’bout the Philadelphia 76ers? Ya think my man George Washington woud be “offended” because a basketball team was named after him and his posse? I think not. He’d probably respond with a quizzical look and say:

“What’s basketball?” Then he’d go kick some Hessian ass and change the course of history.

The point is they’re just names. Words. They can’t hurt you. Mom was right. Sticks and stones and all that.

One final thought on words. I’m always hearing about a fight starting because somebody was “disrepected”. This always makes me laugh. First off, have you done anything to earn this “respect” in the first place? And if so, why do you care if some doofus doesn’t recognize this? Big deal. Life goes on. Smile and walk away. It’s not worth wasting negative energy over it. People are idiots. They’re not worth your time. They can’t hurt you.

They’re only words.

[Originally published July 29th, 2012.]