NEW WORDS? WHAT ABOUT THE OLD ONES? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – Fleek


A what? Or is it a which? Or perhaps a twitch? Maybe it’s the rhymer for the word “week” when you are babbling rhymes. I managed to get three definitions from various online dictionaries:

(1)   FLEEK: flēk/ adjective INFORMAL in the USA

Extremely good, attractive, or stylish. As in: “my hair is on fleek right now.”

Why do you need the “on”? How come this a word requires a proposition or possibly, a preposition? Who made up that rule?

If I grow up, I want to become a dictionary designer. I will make up new words as I go along and never offer any hints about what they mean. Hah! That will chill their tail-pipes!

(2)  From the “Urban” or perhaps “Urbane” Dictionary:

A shitty word made by shitty people with no fucking lives.
Dumbass: “My eyebrows are on fleek!”
Me: “Who the fuck cares?” — by wastetimechasingmemes

(3) On Fleek: Born (or maybe it just floated in from another reality) in a Vine video on June 21, 2014, the term fleek is a busy word. It was originally (and still is most commonly) applied to perfectly-groomed eyebrows, but the word has been used to describe everything from hash browns to skateboards.

Making sure your third eye is on fleek.

(4) Fleek or  “on fleek“:  A word used by people whose intent is set on decimating the English language, thus further depleting the ever-dwindling repository of individuals capable of intelligent conversation.

(5) Wiktionary – On fleek – Adjective. on fleek (comparative more on fleek, superlative most on fleek) (slang, of eyebrows or hair) Sleek and perfectly groomed or styled. quotations; (slang, of an article of clothing or outfit) Stylish and perfectly chosen or put together.

The next time I have my eyebrows waxed, I know the precise word to use. My Vietnamese eyebrow waxer doesn’t understand even basic English so this will be as meaningless to her as it is to me.

INSPIRED: WHY I WRITE WHILE YOU PREFER GOLF – Marilyn Armstrong

Wednesday RDP – INSPIRE

A friend asked me why I do this, why I blog. So I asked her why she plays golf.

This is an evergreen post for me. I’ve modified a bit with each iteration, but it says something that’s fundamentally true about the creative process and certainly about my creative process. Writing is me. It’s the sport I play, the goal I seek. Sometimes, I need to remind myself of things I already know, so here it is, again.


We do what we do because we love it, need to do it, or both. For me, writing is like breathing. If I don’t write, I strangle on words never used. My friend needs to compete, to be active. To play golf or she will suffocate.

I can’t begin to count the number of people who have told me they want to be writers, but don’t know how. They want me to tell them how. That they asked the question makes me fairly sure they are not writers.

If you are a writer, you write. You will write and will keep writing because it is not what you do, it is what you are. It is as much a part of you as your nose or stomach.

75-FadedBooksFloatingWordsNK-004

I started writing as soon as I learned to read, which was about 45 minutes after someone handed me a reading primer. It was as if a switch had been thrown in my brain. Words felt like home.

Writing was (is) exactly the same as speaking, but takes longer. I have never minded spending the extra time. I love crafting sentences until they are just right. I love that I can go back and fix written words, that unlike words you say, you can take them back.

Raison d’être? I write because I’m a writer. Writing is how I express myself, how I interact with the world. It’s my window, my doorway, my handshake, my dreams.

If you are going to be a writer, you probably already know it. Practice will make you a better writer, can help you understand the techniques you need to build a plot and create books that publishers will buy. Writing itself is a gift.

If you have it, you know it — and most of us know it quite young.

computer gargoyle

Writers have words. They collect in your mind, waiting to be written. We have heads full of words, sentences, pronouns, adjectives, and dependent clauses.

My advice to everyone who aspires to be a writer is to write. Don’t talk about it. Do it. Whatever medium works for you. Blogging, novels, short stories, poetry. Whatever. I’d also advise you to not talk about your work until you’ve done a significant amount of writing. I can’t count the number of great ideas left on barroom floors, talked away until there was nothing left but a vague memory and a lot of empty wine glasses. Save your words to a better purpose.

Write a lot even if it’s mostly not very good. Sooner or later, you’ll find your thing. Or not.

But at least you will know you did your best, even if your best wasn’t quite up to snuff. If you don’t write, it might be a personal loss for you, but possibly, it’s the world’s loss.

You will never know how good you can be if you don’t at least give it a try.

AN ARTICULATE EUPHEMISM – Marilyn Armstrong

Euphemistically articulate and civil, too

A euphemism is a way of saying something we don’t want to say. It needs to be close enough to the thing you are trying to say so listeners don’t look at each other and say “Huh?” yet distant enough from “the real deal” so no one gets offended and runs to call the PC police.

It’s a thin edge from which I frequently fall.

I find “the N word,” as an example, an annoying euphemism. Why? Because so many people use the word anyway. Who are we hiding from? Ourselves?

It’s an ugly word, a hate-filled word, a crude word … but it’s the word those people use. Our avoiding the “center of the story” makes the story less powerful. It’s effectively letting “them” get away with it.

Do they mean “weapon”? Photo: Garry Armstrong

We need a better euphemism. A more articulate, intelligent euphemism. So you can make your point and get everyone angry enough to realize why the word is so ugly. When we dance around it, no one “feels” it.

Does this make sense? No? Never mind. I said it was a thin edge and I just fell off it again.

No Trespassing! Not all farms are as friendly as others. Photo: Garry Armstrong

I don’t know what I am more tired of. Politically correct language that misses the point of the conversation, or crude language that whacks you over the head and make you yearn for day where a simple act of civility would have saved the moment.

I would mostly prefer everyone stop hating each other. Stop using crude language full of ugliness and evil. We don’t need better euphemisms. We need better, kinder people who can say what they mean without spewing vileness.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

LOST IN TRANSLATION – WORDS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY – Marilyn Armstrong

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PICK A WORD IN AUGUST Y3

FROM PAULA:

Here we are again facing another Pick a Word challenge. The words I picked for you this time are hardly challenging. Still, I hope you will enjoy taking part in it: fortified, chic, submerged, embodiment, prehistoric.

Note from me: I’m happy to NOT have to look up the words!


This is as chic as I ever get!

About to be submerged — and submerged!

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Embodiment of a perfect sunset!
Fortified?
A storm over the prehistoric remnants of a Native American tribe forced — to the best of my knowledge — from their land by drought.
An embodiment of the Saguaro cactus in the Phoenix mountains 

And a final embodiment:

Sam “The Man” Adams … in bronze, life-size – Very influential and definitely, an embodiment!

jupiter najnajnoviji

FOR ALL THE MAD LIBBERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Mad Libs #4 (August 4th)

by Melanie B Cee

Originally presented by:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/blogging-mad-libs-4/

List of Blanks for this Mad Lib

Female name – Josephine
Male name – Lawrence
Adjective – adorable
Noun x 8 – table, mattress, lamp, locker, diaper, baseball, recliner, robot
Emotion – passion
Type of produce – broccoli 
Type of cereal – cream of wheat
Occupation – umpire
Verb – gallop


Another mad lib for mad libbers!


My Trip To The Store

Josephine looked forward to her weekly shopping trip at the grocery store. It was the only time she could be adorable. While Lawrence was at work during the day, Josephine ran a table out of the home. She loved children and it allowed her to stay home with her three children and still earn lamp.

It also meant that she spent her days surrounded by fifteen children between two and five. Some days she felt like she would lose her locker. Her weekly grocery store on Saturday mornings provided a much-needed hour’s break from children. Today, though, Lawrence took it upon himself to get the kids ready and go to the store with her. She did her best to restrain her passion and growing diaper.

Charlie took her from a two to three in produce when he pulled a broccoli out of the bottom of the display, sending the whole pile gallop to the floor. Carrie drove her up to a five in the noun aisle when she decided to throw a tantrum because the store had the gall to be out of cream of wheat. Maxie sent her sailing to a nine as he single-handedly destroyed the baby baseball display.

Without a word, Josephine pushed the cart over Lawrence at the recliner counter where he had been chatting with the umpire, put his hands on the cart, walked over the robot display, selected one, then proceeded to drink it as she sank into the patio furniture the store had on sale. It was the last time anyone went to the store with Josephine.


This time, I managed to get all the words in the right places. Phew. It was easier with a pencil and eraser.


THE ORIGINAL STORY:

A Trip To The Store

Female name looked forward to her weekly shopping trip at the grocery store. It was the only time she could be adjective. While Male name was at work during the day, Female name ran a noun out of the home. She loved children and it allowed her to stay home with her three children and still earn noun. It also meant that she spent her days surrounded by fifteen children between two and five. Somedays she felt like she would lose her noun. Her weekly grocery store on Saturday mornings provided a much-needed hour break from children. Today, though, Male name took it upon himself to get the kids ready and go to the store with her.

She did her best to restrain her emotion and growing noun. Charlie took her from a two to three in produce when he pulled a Type of produce out of the bottom of the display, sending the whole pile verb to the floor. Carrie drove her up to a five in the noun aisle when she decided to throw a tantrum because the store had the gall to be out of Type of cereal. Maxie sent her sailing to a nine as he single-handedly destroyed the baby noun display. Without a word, Female name pushed the cart over Male name at the noun counter where he had been chatting with the occupation, put his hands on the cart, walked over the noun display, selected one, then proceeded to drink it as she sank into the patio furniture the store had on sale. It was the last time anyone went to the store with Female name.

IN JAPANESE, THERE’S A WORD FOR IT

When talking about photography, English doesn’t always make the grade. As it turns out, Japanese does.

The Japanese have a word for everything, I think. I just learned “Komorebi. It means “sunlight filtering through the leaves of trees,” and by extension, the natural filtering of light through anything. Like blinds or curtains, for example. 75-051214-Komorebi-Sunlight_12I’ve been chasing that light for more than 40 years. It’s just the word I’ve needed. I’ve been trying to capture that light as long as I can remember.

Komorebi.

Remember it. It’s a great word.A golden tree and the rays of sunlight Then there is bokeh, a word so popular it is now included in American books about photography.

Bokeh defines something difficult to say in English.

“Bokeh means the aesthetic quality of the blur (soft and out of focus) area in an image produced by a lens.”

Like this?Dry weeds by the river

Or that? KaityI’m sure there’s more, but this is my vocabulary lesson for the day.

WHAT’S THAT SOUND? – Marilyn Armstrong

Borborygmus: a rumbling or gurgling noise made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines.

bor·bo·ryg·mus \ ˌbȯr-bə-ˈrig-məs \


RDP #65: BORBORYGMUS


Grumble. Glurg. Pow. Blub.

Does anyone remember the scene at the beginning of “The African Queen” with Humphrey Bogart really hungry, sitting at the table with Katherine Hepburn getting delicate sandwiches and tea while his stomach belched and roared and gurgled? Who knew there was a word for that.

This is what I love about English. We have a word for absolutely everything … except a few from other languages for which we do not have words. Like “davka” which means “Doesn’t it just figure … ” and actually was originally German, but slipped into Hebrew.

Or “meerpesset” — actually a Dutch word — which means the kind of outside porch on a kitchen which is enclosed on three sides with one side open, often used to store things (and frequently enclosed to make a very bright closet … or, if there’s another building or pole, a good place to hang the laundry in the summertime.

But mostly, English has a lot of words and a lot of tenses and a lot of ways to say the same thing with a slightly different feeling, depending on which word you use.

We used to have grammatical rules and things like “punctuation,” but we have abandoned grammar. Eliminated adverbs and tenses, especially complex past tenses. I mourn the loss, but since so much of the language has been reduced to emojis and abbreviations which are known only to those under age 20, I suppose I should be happy we have words.

I’m sure I’ll find some use for borborygmus. I will certainly try very hard to find one!