TGIF: 5 Words To Know + A Bit Of Wordsmithery Fun + A Simple Question

Although I keep an ongoing list of words or definitions that are new to me, I haven’t done a wordy post in a while. It’s Friday, so why not?

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WORDS TO KNOW

WHUZZLE WAFFLING is the sound made by a loom as you weave something on it

PROLIXITY means using or containing too many words as in tediously lengthy

TARNATION is an exclamation used to express incredulity; it is a minced oath of the word “damnation”

SOPHISTRY is using false arguments with the intention of deceiving

CONFABULATE in psychiatry means to create imaginary experiences to compensate for the loss of memory; in everyday usage it means to engage in conversation

As always, anyone who can write one sentence using all the words gets a gold star.

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A BIT OF WORDSMITHERY FUN

The above paragraph is my attempt at using THE UP-GOER FIVE TEXT EDITOR.

The editor challenges you to explain something using only the ten hundred most used words in the English language. This is more difficult to do than you may think.

At least it was for me a wordy girl who loves to vary my words, relying on nuance to get my point across, fearlessly using polysyllabic words.

Follow the link shared above and see for yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about how The Up-Goer Five Text Editor will stop you lickety-split if you use a word that is not one of the top ten hundred.

If you choose to mess around with this editor, let me know how it goes for you. Just curious…

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A SIMPLE QUESTION

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “It has been estimated that the vocabulary of English includes roughly 1 million words.” [Read more here.]

Of all the words in the English vocabulary which ONE is your favorite?

I shared mine in the comments below.

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Let’s Write Friendlier Blog Posts, Shall We?

Everything old is new again…

SORTING THROUGH ANOTHER BOX of stuff I inherited from my mother and her sisters, I found a small booklet, Let’s write Friendlier Letters by Earle A. Buckley, Director of the The Buckley Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

This booklet, published in 1945, is described as: “A practical course in MODERN LETTER WRITING.” It is 36 pages long and has 21 points intended to help you become a better letter writer.

If I may be so bold as to summarize, the gist of the advice in the booklet boils down to 3 smart writing tips: be concise, be conscientious, be personable.

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AS I UNDERSTAND THEM, the 21 points are as follows:

  1. Every letter is a sales letter.
  2. Make friends with people by understanding their perspective.
  3. Stereotyped, trite, hackneyed phrases serve no useful purpose in letter writing.
  4. Words cost money so eliminate unnecessary ones.
  5. Your opening sentence is your first impression.
  6. Stop writing when you’ve said what you need to say.
  7. Prepare yourself mentally so that you’re thinking clearly about the subject you are about to discuss in your letter.
  8. Your letter must have personality if it is to be perceived as truthful.
  9. Stay away from long sentences because “they’re dangerous.”
  10. Letters are either categorized as “inquiry” or “answer.”
  11. Write in a way that makes the letter look pretty while molding opinions in your favor.
  12. When answering a complaint you must show you understand why the complainant is upset, then move the discussion to friendly terms quickly.
  13. Use contractions to make the tone of your letters seem conversational and natural.
  14. Don’t write like a telegram because your letter won’t be perceived as written by a friendly human being.
  15. Look at the appearance of your letters as you would the appearance of a salesman.
  16. Tell enough to be interesting, but not everything.
  17. Write so that your ideas flow logically + smoothly from paragraph to paragraph.
  18. Your relationship with your stenographer needs to be one of effective teamwork.
  19. Avoid form letters that look “form-letter-ish.”
  20. Get in the habit of editing your letters, you’ll become a better letter writer.
  21. To be an effective letter writer you must sell yourself first so that your tone will be a friendly one, sure to increase your business.

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WITH THE EXCEPTIONS OF Point 4 [words don’t cost money in the blogosphere] and Point 18 [who has a stenographer?], I’d suggest that these points are amazingly good advice for today’s modern blogger.

Good advice that is spot on IF you want to write friendlier, well-received blog posts. Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t. Who am I to say what it is that you want to do with your blog?

However, if’n you’ve been wondering how to zhoosh up your blog making it more convivial in these stressful, antagonistic times, then may I suggest you heed this old-time letter-writing advice from 1945.

Just a friendly thought. Agreed?

A Funny Bumper Sticker That Lends Itself To Discussion, Research, And A Poll Question

I.  Stuck in traffic I laughed out loud when I saw the bumper sticker on the car in front of me.  The bumper sticker said:

ANNOY THE BORING

The car had no other bumper stickers, suggesting this bumper sticker had nothing to do with 2020 politics.  In fact the bumper sticker looked like it’d been on the car for years.

While we’ll never know why this person put this particular bumper sticker on his car it does lend itself to contemplation. I figure we all know how to ANNOY each other without any further investigation, but we can contemplate who THE BORING might be.

‘Tis a fact that you have to define your terms if you want to communicate a useful + meaningful message.  No doubt this bumper sticker was meant to be a prompt for existential thought, a declaration of raison d’être, and a catalyst for conversation.

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II.  So I sat down at ye olde computer to find the dictionary definition for *boring* while also checking what the thesaurus had to say.  Then I did a fast internet search about *boring people* so I might learn about the traits generally associated with people who are considered boring.

Synthesizing this information I created the following cursory list of the types of people who I shall refer to jointly and separately as THE BORING.

INSIPID: talk too much/have unbalanced conversations

STALE: stuck in a rut or routine never doing anything new

LACKLUSTER: have no opinions about or passions for anything in life

QUOTIDIAN: hang on phone or stare at other screen instead of engaging directly with people

TIRESOME: only complain or talk about their disappointments in life, what is wrong with the world

SOUL-DESTROYING: lack, or do not use, empathy/are bad listeners

DULLSVILLE: talk in droning voice, often referred to as flat affect

STODGY: have no sense of humor &/or cannot tell a story/joke

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 III.  Below is a poll question for you to answer.  I listed THE BORING, as defined above, in such a way as to allow you to pick one.  That is, which one of these types of behaviors drives you bonkers the fastest?

Or to put it differently: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO ANNOY THE MOST?

28 Pig Phrases: A List Created [For Fun], A Goal Achieved [Finally]

And now for something completely different.

Did you know that March 1st, this Sunday, is National Pig Day? Well it is.

In honor of this I’ve written a list of pig phrases seen immediately below plus I’ve provided an explanation at the end of the post as to why I‘ve written this list.

[You know you’re wondering why.] 

Please enjoy this list, but I beg of you, do not let this plethora of piggy-ness and phraseology overwhelm you with its profundity.

Photo by skeeze via pixabay

A LIST OF 28 PIG PHRASES

Please the pigs means if circumstances permit

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered means don’t get greedy or whatever you have will be taken away from you

As short as a pig’s kick means not very good [Spanish insult]

Even a blind pig will occasionally find an acorn means even the least competent person will have something useful to contribute once in a while

To go to pigs and whistles means to go to ruin

Happier than a dead pig in sunshine means thrilled [Southern saying]

It’s as plain as a pig on a sofa means very obvious

Looked like a pig on ice means clumsy

He follows me around like an Antony pig means someone who mindlessly follows someone else [old English term referencing a Roman Catholic saint]

Don’t go crossing the pig tracks means don’t behave in an unseemly way

Feed a pig and you’ll have a hog means beware of encouraging a greedy person who’ll become dependent on you

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig means some people are too closed-minded to bother talking with [maybe said by Mark Twain]

Driving his pigs to market means snoring

Only a pig depends on the favors of swine means only a sneaky person will depend on the handouts of the disreputable

When pigs fly means it’ll never happen [English proverb from 1600s]

To get the wrong pig by the tail means to make a mistake

To bring one’s pigs to a fine market means to do well for yourself

Young pigs grunt as loud as old pigs grunted before them means same as it ever was [Danish proverb]

Like a pig to truffles means being able to go directly to the best of anything

Sometimes the rotten pig gets the apple means life isn’t always fair

Wears like a pig’s nose means durable [slogan from 1885 advertisement for overalls]

As happy as a pig in mud means contented with things as they are in this moment

I haven’t had this much fun since the pigs ate my brother means I’m having a good time

Don’t buy a pig in a poke means don’t make a deal without confirming the details

Sweating like a pig means to be so physically hot that beads of visible sweat form on you [not a reference to the farm animal, it’s about smelting iron]

Like putting lipstick on a pig means attempting to make something appear better than it is

Hollering like a stuck pig means a person who complains like they’re in pain to get attention

Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to fools means your good intentions and truthfulness will be misunderstood by people who aren’t that intellectually bright [Irish proverb]

Addendum: More Pig Phrases Courtesy Of My Wonderful Commenters

What’s time to a pig means not to worry about something, it doesn’t really matter [from Dan at No Facilities]

Like pigs feeding at the trough means a greedy person, often a politician, getting more than his fair share [from Susan at Garden of Eden Blog]

Pig Latin means a made-up silly language in which the first syllable of an English word is removed from the beginning of the word and tacked onto the end of the word [from shoreacres at The Task at Hand]

In a pig’s eye means disbelief [from Deborah at temenos]

Pig out means to eat too much [from Anne at Mehrling Muse]

Piggy back means literally to carry someone on your back or in a figurative sense to add something to something that already exists [from Erica/Erika at Behind the Scenery]

Never wrestle with a pig; you just get muddy and the pig enjoys it means don’t bother trying to reason with someone who’s determined to be unreasonable [from Eilene at Myricopia]

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And why, you may be asking yourself, does Ms. Bean know all these pig phrases?

GLAD YOU ASKED.

It’s because in the winter of ’98 [yes, that’d be 1998] I planned on creating a website to see if I could figure out how to do that. I never got the chance to make the website, but I compiled this list in anticipation of doing so. The website was going to be about pig phrases.

[Once a wordy girl, always a wordy girl.]

Last weekend, in a serendipitous moment while sorting through some paper files in my desk drawer, I found this list of pig phrases and thought, considering the research was all done, why not make a blog post of it.

So I did.

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Home Sweet Home: A Simple Way To Explain Where You Live, Just Cuz

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A rambling introduction then a simple question…

A friend and I were talking about where we each live now and how unexpected it’s been for us to find ourselves where we are.  In college we could never have imagined this.

She lives in an older home built in the ’40s in an affluent part of town in a community with a vibe that suggests social status.  It’s a desirable address, near a country club and fancy hospital and an upscale local grocery that’s all the rage.

Posh is the word for it.

I live in a 20 year old home in a quirky suburb with a bit of regional history that until a few years ago was considered to be the sticks by the people who live in affluent parts of town.  It’s an address that suggests good schools and unique local restaurants and outdoor activities.

Relaxed is the word for it.

To be clear, neither of us gives a flying fig through a donut hole about where the other one lives;  we’re not hung up on only befriending people who live exactly like we do.  Call us non-judgmental, I suppose.

Friendly, even.

No, the crux of our conversation was about how she’s ended up as an adult living close to where she grew up as a child while I’ve ended up as an adult living somewhere I knew nothing about as a child.

Without belaboring the point by getting pedantic with sociological terminology and geographic nuances, this is a simple | interesting | harmless way to divide people into two categories based on their subjective responses to the following question:

Do you consider where you live now to be your childhood hometown/region OR do you consider where you live now to be somewhere new you moved to along the way?

Discuss.