Thursday, April 30, 2009
Merriam-Webster: Word of the Day
I'm a writer who can't spell. That's kind of on par with being a vegetarian who likes to hunt or a humanitarian who murders old ladies. I also tend to make up words a lot, which works fine when I'm with uneducated people but tends to raise eyebrows among my college educated peers. They cock their heads sightly, give me a sheepish, forced smile and jot something down in their moleskin notebooks. Something, I would imagine, along the lines of, "Note to self, Eugie might be slightly retarded. Not entirely surprised."
More over, and more embarrassing I pronounce words incorrectly. People will correct me and I will say, "Uh, yeah maybe in America it's pronounced that way, but I'm using the French pronunciation. France, it's a country, maybe you've heard of it. Ignorant ass." And then I will make a mental note to find said persons Achilles Heal and publicly ridicule them for it, pronto.
In an effort to correct these problems I subscribed to Merriam-Websters word of the day. I'm just lazy that way. I need things spoon fed. I'm attempting to become a culinary genius by watching online cooking shows; I'm curing my depression with a self diagnosed daily diet of cigarettes, caffeine and booze and I'm going to learn how to spell and correctly pronounce words by looking for 2.5 seconds at a new word in my e-mail account. That's just how I roll.
The problem is my mind is like a faulty sieve. Things get stuck in it, but I have no control over what stays and what goes. I can name the highest temperature ever recorded in the USA (134* in Death Valley, CA. Thank you very much). I will correct you if you miss quote the lyrics to a Tom Waits song. But I can't for the life of me remember where I lived in 2001, name more than five united states presidents or recite my social security number without pausing for a moment.
Sadly the things that stick in my brain are those things which I associate with mutilating embarrassment, moments of failure or heartbreak or good 'ol home grown, repetition.
So, instead of memorizing these words by spending an hour writing them over and over again on a blackboard; I have decided to blog about each word. To make it more interesting I will also type the word into google image and choose the picture that shows:
A. The cutest animal
B. The most pathetic looking person
C. Anything depicting tiny Japanese people eating large amounts of food
D. Pictures of "professional" people wearing bifocals that make them look like pedophiles
E. All of the above/none of the above
If you are like me perhaps you can join me in this quest to be less embarrassing, more pretentious and (hopefully) that person at the party who no one will talk to because he/she uses too many big words in a desperate attempt to mask their crippling insecurities and mild Social Anxiety Disorder.