Word Play

I was reading, yet again, “Me Talk Pretty One Day,”  David Sedaris’s way-too-fucking-funny book, doing my best to drive a stake through what remains of my writerly ambitions.

Sitting in my too-small chair (it’s microsuede and too cute to get rid of) I’m laughing out loud, sliding off the chair, pulling myself up, sliding off again, etc, etc., generally laughing and sliding. In the midst of these gyrations, I perused one of his lists of things he hates, of words he hates, most of which are hilarious. That’s just me. I know what I like… or rather, dislike, which is whatever David Sedaris tells me to like or dislike.

At the moment I don’t remember the words on his list, but, as I like to slavishly copy others, I have a list of my own. It’s not a physical list, written out, it’s in my brain… more of a swirling mental knot of such words, like angry nasty bees. Bees covered in shit.

Sedaris’s list is more… scholarly than mine. Mostly. The man lived in France, for crissake! But I agree with the intent, with his Judgement. I sincerely recommend that Judgement should begin with that judgmental capital “J.”

My favorite word? Well, before we get to that word, a little bit about the word “favorite.” By using that word, “favorite,” I am being “clever,” because it is not really my “favorite” word. I am being “ironic.”It isn’t my favorite word…it’s my favorite worst word.

Anyway, my favorite word: veggie. Veggie isn’t really a word, although we pretend it is and I’m sure it’s already in the dictionary as a word. It’s a cutesy, fartsy, stupid abbreviation used by stupid fartsy people, flung around like the sing-song ravings of a mentally retarded school counselor, a hefty woman who sings in a choir, knits stuff and is insufferably cheerful.

I don’t care what the etymology of the word is… it’s stupid and vacuous and it really pisses me off. It irriates me slightly that the British sometimes call vegetables “veg” but it doesn’t have that prissy “gees” sound at the end of it.

I got pissed off all over again the other day, when I noticed that my DOG FOOD had “real veggies” in it.

My dog is a Pit Bull, eighty pounds of muscle and bone who could bring down a mastodon if properly motivated and it fucks with my head to think that he’s eating… veggies.

Another old favorite isn’t a word at all… it’s two words!

But lots of people write those two words as one word. Because they’re idiots.

The word (words) is (are) alot. Alot is short (or is it long?) for “a lot,” which means  “a lot” of something. Simple, eh? It’s another of those simple things that somehow manage to enrage me, an example being that asshole on the freeway who thinks he has a fucking right to do the speed limit.

Where does one learn that “a lot” is (mis)spelled alot? As I sit here… “blogging,” I notice that the spell check on my computer CORRECTS alot into “a lot!” It’s a hassle trying to do it wrong. So someone, somewhere, is going to “a lot” of trouble forcing their computer to spell a lot!

Of course, after I’m dead, killed by apoplexy reading an email containing the word alot, it’ll be acceptable, official. Then I will return to life, a pissed off zombie, and rampage around the word, eating the faces of people who have alot of nerve to…

Well, there are two sides to every story…

Except when it comes to the word “sides.” Used in a sentence, “sides” becomes: “What sides do you want with that meat loaf?” We are referring, of course,  to “side dishes,” defined as “a food item that accompanies the entrée or main course at a meal.” I can’t tell you why it bothers me; I’ve given it alot of thought and all I know is that I get a twisty, pissy feeling whenever I hear that word.

Especially when delivered by a snide, angry woman, pissed off that she’s working at Chili’s, can’t afford to buy a carton of smokes… and somehow manages to say the word “sides” as a three syllable word. All presented with a big greasy fake smile on her face. Understandably angry, but angry nonetheless.

Lots of conservatives like to use the word “bootstraps.” I have nothing against bootstraps, they come in handy. The point being that if you will only grasp those silly bootstraps of yours, you can pull up on them and then be rich! Bing!

Problem being, some people are born without bootstraps or without arms or hands to pull their straps up with. Or with which to pull up their bootstraps. You get the idea. In bootstrap world, everyone has those darn straps, have muscular strap-worthy arms, and with some hard work, things will go your way.

But, if you’re lazy or, more likely, just plain unlucky, well tough. There is no room in bootstrap world for poor circumstances. It’s great to be born with large and easily graspable straps and someone there to help pull. Most people aren’t though; they live, if not desperate lives, bleak ones. They work like (working) dogs their entire lives only to learn that if they had worked just a LITTLE harder they could’ve had that plasma TV. Dang

Other lamentable words that I hate: