Just Some Unpowerful Stuff

IMG_1526.JPG (2)

Ten Words to Cut From Your Writing is an article written by Shanna Mallon which I read on entrepreneur.com.  My life may never be the same.

Here are the offensive little beggars. You might want to jot them down one last time.

- just, really, very, perhaps, maybe, quite, a bit, completely, almost, amazing, literally, stuff, things and got.

The list is longer than ten because some of the words are redundant and grouped together.  Read the article and I promise it will all come clear.   Using them, and words like them, makes your writing weak.  Avoiding them makes your writing tight and powerful and strong.

My first thought was, oh really?  Got?  But I can describe my entire day using the word ‘got’.  Have you got a minute?  I got up, got dressed, got breakfast, got in my car, got to work, got bored, got through it, got home, got hungry, got tired, got to sleep by ten.  Do you suppose she’s got a point?

My second thought was perhaps that’s maybe a bit harsh, though.  Or you might even say almost completely upsetting and discouraging.   I mean that literally.   Especially for those of us who’ve got things to say that are just quite amazing.   You know the kind of stuff I mean.  Very good stuff.  Quite amazing really maybe very good things.

Huh.

My third thought (I know, amazing, three thoughts in one day) was that if I cut out all those words from this blog (or just this post)  half of my written work would disappear.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing,  nevertheless I would not like to see that happen.  Because it was quite a bit of work.  And then I realized I use the word ‘that’ too much as well.

So I won’t do that.

Honestly I really don’t feel like taking this advice to heart even though I suspect it’s good and amazing stuff.  I believe powerful and strong is for cleaning products and body builders and electrical storms.  And of course strong and serious people with something brilliant to say.  I’m rarely serious.  So I’m excusing myself from paying attention to this list.

Although perhaps not completely.  I will maybe try really very hard to cut down on the use of these offensive little words.  Quite likely tomorrow.  Or one of these amazing days.

Coffee First

No matter what my plans (or lack thereof) are for any given day, I am basically a creature of habit.   My day starts with this lovely thought.
image
And second, more coffee.  And guess what comes next?  Gargantuan coffee number three.  Well that’s how it went today, anyway.

That’s probably quite enough coffee for one day.  I’m just not my usual laid back  lazy self tonight.  Instead I think I might describe myself as zingy.  Zippy?  Zonked will come later.

I always make coffee in the morning and drink at least one over sized cup before work.  Then I get a large black coffee from McDonalds for the morning.  Then when a co-worker shows up and asks me if I’d like a coffee, I rarely say no.  That would be rude.  We don’t fool around with wimpy little cups either – these are the super sized jumbo heart palpitation  inducing servings guaranteed to make it pretty much impossible for your eyes to close.

By five o’clock today I was still wide awake and buzzed and not thinking clearly, which helps to explain why I bought a gluten-free pizza crust mix and some yeast and enough pepperoni to pave my driveway.

Yes, I made pizza!  On this no bread no wheat no gluten and not even a measly cracker food plan I made up for myself, the one thing I’ve really been missing is pizza.  W was skeptical because he fears everything gluten-less, but the crust was okay!  It was a lot like biscuit dough, but crunchy.  Really, if you put enough tomato sauce and pepperoni and melted cheese on  something it’s pretty hard for it to taste bad.  I also threw on some bits of onion and green pepper.  Because vegetables.

Do you hate it when somebody says because followed by one word?  Do you get why that’s so popular when it’s rarely a proper explanation for anything?

And while you’re answering that could you also please explain to me why I’m drinking another cup of coffee as we speak?  Don’t worry, this one is decaf.   Because GAWD.

Maybe I should have some wine to help me sleep……  There’s no gluten in wine.  But first……

Strange Brew

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”
―     William Shakespeare

016

Decorating Tips for Halloween

If you are really smart you will move next door to the kind of neighbors who live beside us.  They do enough decorating for the entire block.

007

008

012

I especially like the skeletons climbing on the chimney and this guy hanging in the car port.  These pictures were taken on a dull day and don’t do the whole thing justice, so you’ll just have to imagine eerie things all lit up in the dark surrounded by scary sounds.  Mostly on Halloween night we just hear a bunch of screaming.

011

This is my house.  As you can see, I’ve gone with a slightly less cluttered look to celebrate the season.  I hung something on my door.  With a push-pin I think it was.  Not exactly labour intensive, anyway.  Here’s a close up in case you can’t find it.

015

I also decorated a shelf inside above my stove by changing three plates with chefs on them to these three.  The fisherman is there year round, along with the wooden egg that Kenzie decorated with goop when she was three.  Every house needs a goop covered egg which could one day become a serious art form or a family heirloom or both.

013

And that’s it.  Halloween decorating made easy.  Good luck finding a neighbor like mine.  And a boogie man who will stay home to give out treats if you have to work that night.  Hey, it’s only fair, since I’m the one who did the decorating, right?

Let’s Play Lexicographer

Joseph Broch

Joseph Broch (Photo credit: puigjoan)

Daily Prompt  Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

Well I’m just enough of a geek to get all excited and anticipate that playing Lexicographer will be a lot of fun. I felt that way about Hungry Hippos once too, for about five minutes.

Here is my new word, the very first one in my Brave New Words Dictionary (that is also made up, so don’t bother looking for it on Amazon just yet):

rablentumentia - (rab-len-tum-en-chi-ah)

noun

a mental disorder or form of mild psychosis in which the patient is afflicted with very lengthy bouts of non-stop talking in a loud and obnoxious manner with complete disregard for audience and/or subject matter.

Word origins: from rablen, (middle English), to speak in a rapid confused manner;  from entia, (latin), the state of, and from tumlen, (yiddish),  to make a racket.

possible synonyms, also mostly made up - bureaucratosis, cacoethes loquendi, non-motivational speaker syndrome, chronic blarney verbitis

Sentence Examples:

1.  The CEO’s pointless rambling at board meetings was routinely ignored until one of the members arrived without his ear buds and was consequently subjected to twenty minutes of verbose indecipherable nonsense which he later described to his co-workers as almost certainly blatant symptoms of a rather severe case of rablentumentia, and was gratified to realize that not one person disagreed with his astute diagnosis of the problem, although that was perhaps due to the fact that none of them had had the misfortune of misplacing their own ear buds and were well-trained and practiced in the art of appearing to listen and give a damn.

2.  A person suffering from rablentumentia should not be considered for the position of telemarketer.  (So why are they, I wonder?)

3.  Some doctors have noted that the duration of rablentumentia can be lessened by the onset of laryngitis and that although there is no proven cure for the condition, being bound and gagged and placed in such isolation as a sound-proof room may significantly reduce the visible and auditory symptoms of the illness and thus the stress levels of everyone involved except for the patient himself, but what the hell, it’s a start.

Feast Eve of St. Vincent of Saragossa

Apparently that’s what tonight is, so yet another reason to celebrate, unless of course your beer is mothery (thick, mouldy, stale.)  I’m a little disappointed, since I thought the meaning of mothery was going to be something much more mother-y.

It’s also not clear to me why St. Vincent was honoured with a “Day”.  His only claim to fame (other than the fact that he was a martyr for his faith) seems to have been a reputation for excessive drink.  He was a patron of wine and vinegar makers, as well as drunkards.  So why is this morose looking fellow not pictured waving a wine glass in the air (or at the very least a vinegar cruet).  Maybe its a  hangover that’s making him look a tad gloomy.  It’s giving me a headache trying to imagine what a drunkard patron does exactly.  Whatever.  Any excuse for a party.  Boozer Defender Day.  Bottoms up!

Bowssening for the Insane

From James Pettigrew’s Superstitions Connected with Medicine and Surgery, 1844, comes this delightful word, bowssening;  casting mad people into the sea.  Or, immersing them in water until they are well-nigh drowned.  This was a process recommended by high medical authorities in the 1700′s as a cure for madness.  I think it’s probably safe to assume that the high medical authorities in those days were all crazy as coots.

The Cornish call this immersion bossenning, from beuzi or bidhyzi signifying ‘to dip or drown’.  I googled “Cornish people” to see if they’re still around and they are!  Best to avoid Cornwall I think if you possibly can.  Or at least the parish of Altarnun where they took the disordered in mind to the brink of a square pool, tumbled him in with a sudden blow on the breast and proceeded to toss him up and down until he was quite debilitated and his fury forsook him.  Wow.  Sounds like a cure to me.  After that they carried him to church and sang masses over him.  Now seriously, would that not MAKE you crazy?

Altarnun looks like such an idyllic little spot.  Too bad now when I look at these pictures all I can see is some poor demented soul being dipped repeatedly off that bridge and then carried up this lovely little path dripping wet (although no longer screaming) to celebrate his miraculous cure.  And perhaps to silently pray for one little extra favor from God having to do with avoiding pneumonia.

Maybe they just practiced this emotion calming measure  on very rare occasions as an example to others.  Like a deterrent of sorts.  Act crazy and this could happen to you!  I’d be putting my sane face on every day since I take dipping and drowning very seriously and would go to great lengths to avoid both of those things.  Scary stuff when the cure is worse than the malady.

Spurticles!

Exhibit in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphi...

Exhibit in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was so excited to see that awesomely weird word!  It just cries out for an exclamation point!  If I had to rename this blog space I think that SPURTICLES would be the perfect choice!!

Except that it means (of all the mundane things) spectacles.   Or at any rate it did in Devonshire in 1891.  In Newfoundland in 1937 they experimented with calling them ‘sparticles’,  probably because of their inborn vowel dysfunction there, but the term didn’t last.

There’s a long blurb about it being Benjamin Franklin’s birthday too, although this being a weekend there are two dates on the same page and they don’t specify on which exact day he was born.  Perhaps at midnight on the 16th.  Destined to invent bifocals once he got old enough to need them and got tired of switching back and forth from his distance spurticles to his reading spurticles.  I wonder why he didn’t call them bispurticles.  Anyway, he claims they helped him learn french.  Because while eating and conversing with the french it is a good plan to be able to see ones food, while also being able to look up and focus on the french speaker who talks with his features and gesticulations as much as he does with his mouth.  If not more so.

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Benjamin Franklin 1767 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today it’s only very ancient or very persnickity people who cling to their stupid bispurticles being content to see far away and up close and missing out on everything in between.  The vast majority adapt themselves to progressive lenses so that they have clear vision at every distance.  For these people it’s important to see the dash of their car and their computer screens and the dust on things a little further away than arm’s length where you don’t feel like getting off your butt to clean anything, but it’s nice to be able to see it all just the same.

I wish I had known this word sooner.  Because one day a customer told me he needed to book an appointment with our obstetrician so he could get a subscription for glasses.  I wanted to say Ah!  Well!  Good luck with that then!  Smiling sweetly.  Backing away slowly.  Instead I suggested he make an appointment with our optometrist for a new prescription.  He looked at me as if to say, what is wrong with you, did I not just say that??  It would have been a much more interesting scenario to start blathering away about regular spurticles vs. bispurticles and good old sparticles from Newfoundland.  Making him strongly consider booking with a different obstetrician altogether.  Hind sight is such a beautiful thing.  No spurticles needed to see that clearly.