Wednesday, September 26, 2007

They're Too Heavy to Carry

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," accused of having too big a vocabulary since 1973!

How vividly I recall the ugly, nasty chap in Middle School who got all his buddies to call me "Walking, Talking Dictionary." Girls were not supposed to be smart. They were supposed to fawn over guys who hate smart girls.

Yawn on the lawn until dawn, never fawn! That was my philosophy.

On the first day of first grade, the teacher handed out the first primer. While she was handing it out, I read the whole thing, cover to cover. Mama, trained as a teacher, couldn't work because of her fragile health. She had taught me to read when I was three. It stuck, and I became a Walking, Talking, etc. etc. etc.

Another layer: My Appalachian grandma could rhyme all the time, on the dime. You could say I'm hard-wired to love words.

Speaking of words, if I can't find one that suits me, I'll make it up! Probably the last nail in my Walking, Talking, etc. etc. etc. coffin was the year of Latin that I took as a curious high school senior. All those prefixes, suffixes, and root words! What a treasure trove!

Nulla dies sine linea. Another philosophical statement. Perhaps you've noticed that about me.

So, I may not get all the words right, or I may graft a few together that don't quite mesh, but hey. It's easier than lugging around a heavy old dictionary.

Speaking of heavy old dictionaries, have you ever seen the Oxford English Dictionary in all its splendor? Send me to the county library, point out the shelf it's on, and I'm a no-show to the cocktail party. You may not see me again until Februrary, by which time I'll know the complete history of the words "devil," "orgasm," and "whiskey."

Drunk on words again! One day I'm gonna sober up.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

See me and Bibi at Faerie Con! Only a few weeks away!

6 comments:

BBC said...

""Walking, Talking Dictionary." Girls were not supposed to be smart."

Ah come on. Knowing big words don't mean a person is smart. And I didn't just say that you are not smart. But it does just mean that you learned a lot of big words.

But many people don't, if you want to talk to the world I think a person should use simple words.

Most big words are just replacements for simple words because word smiths like to mess with their brains.

Lots of wise people also think that.

Tennessee Jed said...

I have been fascinated with words as well. My dad said using large words is efficient so if you are truly wanting to not work so hard using big words is the good kind of lazy. The good kind of lazy is what smart folks are.

Heuristic is the latest addition to my daily vocabulary. I am trying to find places to use factotum so it will soak in. To keep trying to increase your wordsmithy skills can't make matters.

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J. Scott said...

Hi there, The story you helped creat, "Buzzy and Clem's Adventure" is now posted! Here is the url
http://summerbreezeinpa.blogspot.com/2007/09/buzzy-and-clems-adventure.html
I hope you find this story at least comical, I never realized how difficult humor can be to write but I thank you for the challenege. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I appreciate your participation in my project. Please come back and visit soon.
Thanks again

yellowdog granny said...

bbc needs medical attention..at once...
I love words...and love the sound of a greatly written speech....it's like a song...

Anne Johnson said...

Granny, I'm still thinking of your missing kitty. I'll be watching for him!

J. Scott, I'm now off to see what Buzzy and Clem did for you. They are a pair.