Thursday, June 28, 2007

Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow, and damn, but how I loves words

Patches and Meno have been discussing what all cat owners are familiar with and dread with a twisted form of amusement…taking your cat to the vet. We ourselves have devised a sly system for our own feline, wherein there is much petting and cooing of the kitty, then a frantic shove in the carrier (which we stealthily extract from piles of crap in the basement). As my husband’s schedule allows him to be the lucky ‘shover’, he always gets me in on the action by calling me at work as he drives Mad Kitty to the vet, and putting his cell phone next to the carrier, so I can hear the frantic “meow…mrow…MEOW…MRRROW!!” for myself. I save these phone messages. They make me laugh.

Sorry, kitty.

The Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow is CAT. Or KITTY. Or, hell, even PUSSY. Whatever word you choose to describe the feline persuasion (and they are persuasive, aren’t they? “Pet me.” “Feed me.” “Leave me the hell alone.”) Feel free to use any, all or other words like that there in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever catnippy form makes you writhe on the floor with supreme joy…poem, drawing, story, salmon sculpture, phone message, naptime dream where you fight with dogs….

I leapfrogged from blog to blog to blog this morning and whilst reading a post, I stumbled upon a delicious word. A word I cannot use in everyday settings because I would be stared at, and not for my yummy cleavage. A word my friend J would not even be able to hear, as he cannot understand words of more than 2 syllables. The word? “Pluperfect.” So awesome…pluperfect…pluperfect…. It’s not the first time I’ve read the word, but it’s the first time I stopped to look it up to make sure I understood it. Y’know how you can infer the meaning of a word by the content surrounding it? I knew what ‘pluperfect’ meant, but I had to look it up, to definitely cement it in my head, much like I did the phrase “ne plus ultra”, which I also cannot say in everyday conversation, but which I will someday use in a blog post, and feel all smug about until one of you uses a cooler phrase in your post that knocks my knickers off and which I adopt as my own.

I remember as a kid, some school mates of mine saying when they came across a word they didn’t know, they wouldn’t look it up for fear of looking stupid. Stupid? Seriously? I look words up all the time…I love the etymology of words, how they came to be, country of origin, variations of spelling and pronunciation, meanings and gentle twists. I can also keep up with what the kids are doing nowadays with an Urban Slang dictionary I found. I find myself more and more twisting words around in sentences, warming words up in my hands and rubbing them liberally on emails and documents, seeing if they stick. I use bad grammar on purpose, for effect. Sort of like my old art teacher, who said a great artist is someone who knows all the techniques, and then does them wrong to make a point. Me and the dictionary, yeah, man, we’re totally making a baby right now. It’s pluperfect.

Have YOU learned any new words lately?


At 8:37 AM, Blogger Sanjay said...

lol@the elaborate measures needed to take the kitty to the vet. Loved it.
Now the friday word is so full of possibilities no?

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Orange said...

My Poetry Friday offering:

I do not like cats. I do not trust cats. I am afraid of cats. One at a chunk of my sister's leg when I was five, and I've never recovered. Kittens are cute to look at, but I don't want one on my lap.

I love etymology! Was excited to learn recently that a professor friend has online access to the complete OED, so when I need to see some hardcore etymologizin', I know where to go. I looked up the etymology for a crosswordy word, oriel, and saw that it was derived from Middle French oriol—but that oriole is completely unrelated, stemming from aureolum, having to do with goldenness.

Your cleavage is pluperfect, Mona.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger meno said...

Oh, cats, kittens, kitties, pussy. Oh YES!

I look words up all the time. My 20 volume OED is one of my favorite things.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Orange said...

{ gasp! }

Meno has the 20-volume OED!

Color me green.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Yep. Pluperfect.

Thanks for that. :) I was so tired of the word "awesome" coming out of my mouth all the time (I'm not kidding, I apparently said it at least 8 times at my wedding shower on Saturday, and those were just the times my best friend documented for me!), I needed something new and lovely smelling to use. Gracias mucho!

At 2:50 PM, Blogger patches said...

You're offering me a legitimate opportunity to use the word pussy?

You aren't going to kick me under the dinner table if I use it are you? I get in sooo much trouble with the urban dictionary. I learn a new word or phrase and I just have to introduce it in conversation. I get kicked a lot at dinner.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

I have learned a semi-new word, and I still don't know how to use it. It is "liminal."

Inspired by this:

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Pisser said...

I like the mrowing too, though I feel bad, and you can get kitty to go in there willingly if you leave it open, and feed her in there regularly...there is something seriously wrong with people who don't like cats, I think. They're soft. They're cute. They're loving. What the fuck. They get mad if some shithead kid hurts or threatens them but so would eveything with half a brain (this excludes some dogs).

Also, does your daughter like Hannah Montana this much?

And isn't Billy Bob Bumfuck her father?! "Achy Breaky" Bumfuck?!

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous d-man said...

Misteradventure. When you discover that the girl is actually a guy.

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Diana said...

I love great words. I love the way they feel in your mouth and what they add to what you say.

I also remember being teased more than once as a kid for using interesting words that others didn't know.

I like being a grown-up. It's nice not to give a rip and use the words you love.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Mona, you're both a techie girl and a wordy girl. You might like this. That blogger is also a hotshot professional lexicographer and has a passing resemblance to Maggie Gyllenhaal. Tres geek chic! The coinages she writes about here were suggested by techie hotshots at FooCamp, which I never heard of before but it sounds a little like Davos for the non-stupendously-wealthy tech crowd.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger gr said...

Our vet is a visiting vet. With 3 dogs and a cat it makes life a whole lot easier to have them come over. So, as the cat walks through the kitchen, she can be stroked, and examined.
Not cheap, though, and probably only in a town with a vet school and a vet on ever corner.

At 12:57 AM, Blogger amusing said...

I'm sorry. Did Meno say she has the 20 volume set of the OED? I stopped taking in anything else after that.


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