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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Snow Already

I’ve been clinging to words recently.

I think it’s the change in the seasons. Like all good and right-thinking Minnesotans, I have come to accept the seasons, have come to terms with the ones that want to kill me. Sure, summer’s nice. But like a pretty woman of dubious intent mixing you just one more drink, you find yourself waking in the weak, diffused light of fall, your pockets empty.

What just happened? Where’s my wallet?

One never gets quite enough.

And the worst thing about this particular summer’s hangover has been the unseasonable warm-ness of its fall. Go then! You said we were breaking up and here it is, November! Go and take your warmth with you!

And so I cling to what I know, even as that knowledge, too, changes.

I find myself clinging to words.

Take the word “traverse” for instance. I’ve traversed plenty, believe me. When was the last time you traversed? Have you traversed lately? Didn’t I run into your mom in town once, traversing? No, no, I’m pretty sure that was her.

How about “plight”? Been in a plight lately? Me, I’ve been in several pickles and a scrape, but even I, having brought up the subject, must admit that I’ve not suffered, lately, what I would describe as a “plight”.

Nor, now that I think of it, have I suffered from much malaise, although it certainly appears that I may have a touch of it.

Words go away.

But other words bloat, swelling with the fat heads who insist on overusing them.

The word “miracle”, for instance. Hey. I’m all for a good miracle. But arriving on time for something is not “a miracle”. There was no intervention, no help from the other side in finally getting you to arrive on time. Nor was your arrival “awesome”. I’ve said it before; and will no doubt, until someone stops me, say it again, but imagining that one can feel open-mouthed awe and wonder at, say, punctuality, makes me sad.

We are all responsible, though, are we not, for our own happiness?

And so it is with pink-cheeked pleasure that I report that I was forced, ladies and gentlemen, to look up a word the other day.

I say that, of course, knowing that I sound like a self-satisfied twit, but generally speaking I have a pretty good grasp of the English language, especially as it is goodly spoken in these United States, and so when I come upon a word I’ve seen before but cannot understand through context alone, I look it up.

“Antediluvian”.

Well how’s that for a kick in the drawers?

Antediluvian: of or belonging to the period before the Flood.

Angels sang, clouds parted, and a dove bearing an olive branch flew head first into the windows outside of my cubicle on the 48th floor.

No, it was not “awesome”.

But it was enough.

29 comments:

Willoughby said...

Antediluvian, I'm going to see how many times I can use that in casual conversation today.

Simply Suthern said...

Good Morning Miss Pearl. Come on down south. We will show you how plight we can be.

Living postdiluvian is much better than living whilst be diluvianed wouldnt you say?

Bossy Betty said...

I think you use some great words, Ms Pearl. I think you're real smart. I thought antediluvian was something you put at the end of your couch. Shoot. I was about to go out and buy one.

Kate said...

So what is prior to The Snow? Antislushuvian?

Pearl said...

Willoughby, I like your spirit.

Simply, :-) Funny man.

Bossy, I think you're thinking of a madagascar. :-)

Pearl said...

Kate, :-) I can already see that I'm in trouble today...

Big Fat Gini said...

I don't think my brain was prepared for the usage of big words this morning. But, I'm wishing for colder temperatures too. The bad news is that I live in south Texas and so...

Linda Medrano said...

Some of these words seem a little arcane to me. I hate Fall with a passion. Give me summer or winter and screw the stuff in between.

Eric said...

As always, enjoy your posts. My response, for what it's worth, might become a post. Thanks for inspiring me...

...since I was little I've been overly sensitive to certain words. If my younger brother said, "sleep," "feet," "lunch," or certain other words around me he was likely to get punched. He just had a very irritating way of pronouncing them. This problem has stuck with me and gotten worse. I hate the words "coffee," "call," and especially "yummy," "tummy," or "sleepy." I love coffee. I drink it several times daily. But the word...

...I think "coffee" and "call" are work-related. I'm a misanthrope who avoids meetings however possible. People always want to have coffee to discuss business, or, you have to call them.

As for the others, being a parent of small children, I'm in a bit of a bind. But using those words with children is acceptable. Using them as an adult, contemptible.

As for antediluvian, that may quickly become a favorite word. However. May whoever speaks the others I mentioned be deluged with the plight of rushing water, an awesome miracle of god's vengeance.

Pat said...

When my husband's surgeon saw my mobile he said it was antediluvian. Cheeky beggar.
He had one that did everything with knobs on - but his nurse said he didn't really know how to use it:)

Brian Miller said...

i am just glad there is no spelling test at the end...smiles. i cracked up at the peace dove flying into your window...ready for some snow myself...

Rezden said...

No snow. If you get it in Minnesota, that means Illinois isn't too far behind. I'm definitely not prepared for it.....

Great post. :) But, of what Flood do they mean?

DAVID McGRIEVEY said...

I have just caught up with your posts and I have to say "your awesome".
X David

Leenie said...

Sending you snow. We have too much. When it melts we will be interdiluvian.

Grant said...

If you've been keeping up with my blog at all, you'll know I've been plightin' it up like a mofo.

Eva Gallant said...

Is it implight to ask where the heck antidiluvian came up in your day that you felt compelled to look it up? I don't think I've ever encountered the word prior to today!

Douglas said...

What's snow?

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl, I loved this. It made me sad for all the cool things I haven't written recently. Moving house and a series of insane work deadlines (plus a little NFL action and pizza, let's be honest) have pretty much ground me to a halt. Thank you for spurring me onwards, fair lady! Indigo x

Andrew Green said...

We've been getting snow here in Southwest Michigan for a week now....
You can have it, if you want.

vanilla said...

Yes. Yes, we are. Happiness is a choice. Has been so since antediluvian days.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Pearly Girly~

You are two followers away from the big Seven Zero Zero!

Antediluvian...That 15 or so minutes in the middle of the night before I wake up from my dream about having to pee...because I actually do have to.

I hate that.
=]

a Broad said...

Ahh, yes, words. Big words, long words, tongue twisting, slipping across your lips words ... Antediluvian is a good one .. I have a momentary liking for Precipitous ... because everything feels like it is "precipitous" today .. Tomorrow it might be just hasty.

EcoGrrl said...

my overused words have been the same since 7th grade - "awesome" and "rad" come to mind. although i swear a lot more than i did then.

David Waters said...

fall as a woman of ill repute....LOVE it;)

Flea said...

They entered the Ark two by two. Antediluvian - the theologian's word. A good one.

I love reading Jonathan Kellerman's novels. Always grabbing the dictionary. Always forgetting the beautiful words within a day of knowing their meaning. :(

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I have a fetish for the word "traverse" too.
xoRobyn

Jhon Baker said...

I get such joy out of having to look up a word that I've not encountered enough before to know the definition. Usually I will rad the whole page of entries and revel in the words that I will never find a use for. Words are my passion as well and a weapon of choice against this crazy crazy world.

HermanTurnip said...

I wonder if they have a word for "of the period after the flood". Much like "BC" has its "AD", "Ego" has the "Id", and "Shaggy" has his "Scooby".

I think my love for words began with my father who got me into the habit of writing the definitions of unfamiliar words into the margins of books as I came across them.

Oh, and he once paid me $5 for learning how to memorize and verbally spell "encyclopedia" and "albuquerque" one night. Heh...

Doctor FTSE said...

I am antediluvian. I was antediluvian even before the Flood.