Do you know there are adults who have such a limited vocabulary they can’t properly communicate? Like folks from a foreign land, they may understand a complex sentence but they cannot form one.
An acquaintance said her granddaughter “got mad” at her when she asked a question. I was there and that’s not what I saw, so I protested.
“I don’t think she was mad. She looked puzzled, like she didn’t understand at first. Maybe she was a little uncomfortable with what you asked her.”
My friend agreed wholeheartedly but then went on talking about the granddaughter “getting mad.”
This same lady often tells me someone lied to her when she means they accidentally gave her misinformation. She says a person is “smart” when “well-educated” or “clever” might better convey her meaning.
I happen to enjoy word-slinging. When I hear new expressions from the BBC newscaster, I can’t wait to look them up and try to incorporate them into my repertoire of words.
My late father-in-law used the word “copacetic” to mean “doing well.” I think it sounds nice and I now use it every chance I get. I also enjoy the sound of the word “sibilance.”
To me, Old English phrase-words like “nevertheless,” “howbeit” and “wherewithal” are fun. I enjoy “plethora” and “ubiquitous” to the point of overuse.
I recently visited some people in Louisiana and heard a new expression. We used a smart phone to locate a Denny’s restaurant and were headed there for brunch.
“Oh, they’ve been closed for a minute,” our friend said. “There’s another one nearby, though.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“Well, I’m not sure. It’s a chain and I guess our city just wasn’t big enough for two of them.”
I chuckled. “Your expression—‘for a minute’—what do you mean when you say the restaurant has been closed for a minute? Is that a short while or a long time?”
“Oh.” She laughed with me. “It means a long time, Mizz Janet. Probably a year or two since Denny’s closed.”
So—having recently passed a one-year anniversary, I have been writing this blog for a minute!
I collect words like folks collect ceramic figurines or state spoons. I won’t be content until my cabinets are full of them!