I have been a lover of words (hence, word nerd) for as long as I can recall. One of my favorite books is called WORDS That Make A Difference And How To Use Them In A Masterly Way. It’s a cross between a dictionary and a thesaurus in the sense that the words are listed alphabetically and a detailed definition is provided. However, this paperback gem comes with an additional cherry on top! To help illustrate their literal and figurative uses, every word includes an example of an actual passage from an article previously published in The New York Times.
I meannnn… Is that a nerdy wordy’s wet dream or what?
I pick up most of the words I crave more by way of Urban Dictionary, Instagram and Twitter and less from the pages of The WSJ and The New York Times. That said, I’d like to think my strong appreciation for all kinds of words is what helps to increase my vocabulary and to keep it so diverse!
Even though it seems the majority of the shit that flies out of my mouth and onto the blog is unpolishedly unsophisticated and sometimes grammatically questionable, I’m happy to report there are in fact a respectable number of words used in my verbal and written repertoire that can be found in the WORDS book. Phew!
Heinous. Juxtaposition. Osmosis. Eclectic. Debunk. Disingenuous. Double entendre. Moot. Minutiae. Supersede. Copious. Ajar. Aloof. Milieu. Assuage. Cliché. Debacle. Antithesis. Ghoulish. Lollygag. Plethora. Quasi. Sophomoric. Catalyst. I could go on but I trust you get the jist.
If you are a word nerd like me than you’ll love the article I read last week by Matthew J.X. Malady titled, Fingerprint Words; The verbal tics that make up who we are… and how they spread to others.
In a nutshell, Malady writes about having certain signature words that come up frequently in his daily rigmarole but he’s not aware of it until he hears a co-worker using an all too familiar four syllable one in a conversation. “Wait, did you just say iteration?“ He says to a colleague. To which the colleague replies, “You should be psyched. That’s one of your words.”
I got a huge kick out of this piece because I definitely have signature words (albeit unpolished) in my verbiage!
I’m not even counting the main words I use in practically every sentence of my everyday life like totes and def and perf and redickkk and obsesssssed and I can’t and literally and beyond and mizzz and majjjjj and fave and not normal and just saying and obvvvv and I mean cuz let’s face it, most of these words aren’t even real words! They’re just mini portions of words! Soooooo, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these extremely unpolished, incomplete half-words do not appear in my fancy WORDS book. Whatev! Don’t pretend you don’t speak my language too.
I happen to love the word douche. I try to use it whenever applicable. If a person is a really big douche, it’s great to tack the word lord onto the backend. Now they aren’t just an ordinary douche, but they’re a royal douchelord. Actually royal enough that maybe the d should be capitalized.
Yah, that looks better.
When I use the word crying or dying, I’m usually referring to laughter.
“It was so funny I was crying. Dyyingggg.”
When I use the word sobbing, I’m always referring to the real act of crying. (Tears included)
“I couldn’t control myself; I was sobbbbing.”
I often use words such as: absurd, antiquated, ciao, clearly, inadvertently, moxie, peeps, pistol, sassy, seemingly, semantics, unequivocally and undermine.
If you read my blogs then you already know it’s a bummer if I can’t find a reason to incorporate the word hilarious on a consistent basis. So what if you wouldn’t see the word hilarious on the SAT exam; If there ever was a SUP (Silver Unpolished) exam, rest assured it would def show up!
Sometimes if I’m feeling loco, I prefer to toss around my unpolished Español skills so I’ll bust out a random hola or a como estas and a que pasó? Then I’ll follow it up with an adios and a buenos noches to all my amigos. Comprendé?
Why stop at signature words when you can have signature phrases too?
Here are a few of the typical unpolished catch phrases I throw into the mix:
“Let me preface it by saying”
“We need to re-group”
“Good, bad or indifferent”
“Not for nothing”
“Let’s mull it over”
“Catch ya on the fly.”
“It doesn’t have to be a whole to-do”
“It’s not rocket science”
“The lack thereof”
“I’m not reinventing the wheel”
Then of course there’s always:
“Just To Let You Know….”
and my unpolished fave, “Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck!”
So how about you…. Do you have any footprint words in your vocabulary? What about signature phrases? Do you ever hear people using your words or are you more inclined to pick up fresh, new slang from others? C’mon word nerds, it’s not rocket science… Think about it and lemme know!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… If you’re unsure about which words or phrases you might say day in and day out, take a few minutes and eavesdrop on the people in your home or at work. It’s amazing how those around you can quickly and even unknowingly take on your lingo as their own. For instance, my kid came off the bus yesterday and said:
“Mom? Just saying… It doesn’t have to be a whole to-do, but after I do my homework can I def stay up late and watch the game tonight? I mean, it’s majjj and obvvv you don’t have to tell me now, but maybe if I go in my room and regroup you can mull it over! And Mom? Not for nothing, but just to let you know if you let me stay awake that would be soooooo perf!
I’m seriously starting to wonder if maybe he didn’t get those words from me after all. Maybe…. I picked up those words from him! Who knows?!?