Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Towards a More Colorful Vocabulary

Due to all kinds of things today--disagreement with Dear Daughter first thing in the morning, hitting my elbow on a soap dispenser in a YMCA shower, certain aspects of my job and the afternoon/evening errands I have planned, I owe the Swear Jar about $836. My mouth lately has, as they say, gone pretty far south, and I’m abysmally ashamed of myself. Fortunately, today is the last day of my hormone therapy and life should be quickly getting back to pseudo-normal.

I truly thought I'd outgrown all of this, but apparently I haven't. I’m really quite embarrassed about it. Throughout my life I’ve gone through phases of extreme language usage, but I’m usually able to check it pretty quickly. The past month has not been so bad, in spite of a stress level that rocketed through the roof and past the stratosphere. This past week though…I’m inclined to blame it on the Prometrium, but I suspect there’s an underlying moral failure at work here.

There’s a poem—I can’t remember the writer or the title just now – about crows cawing in the road over a piece of roadkill, and likening their harsh, repetitive cries to a habitual user of profanity. Crows use the only word they know, and with vigor and emphasis. Lately, the words (or words) I’ve been using have been rather, um, crow-like in their harshness and lack of depth.

When Dear Daughter was about two years old (see? there’s a terrible precedent here), she came flying into my room at bedtime, threw her stuffed Bunny on the bed and announced “I’m going to put my (universal adjective) Bunny to bed now.” My jaw and my heart dropped. I swooped her up and hugged her and said, “I’m so sorry you’ve heard Mommy use that horrible word. It’s such a bad word, and I’m very sorry I’ve used it. I am going to try to never use it again, and I hope that you won’t either, because it’s such an awful word.”

She looked up at me with those sweet blue eyes and said, “You mean like g** d*****?”

So, I’m admitting in public, because confession is good for us, that I have a potty mouth that really needs some work this week. It’s only Tuesday and my swearing is more than my mortgage.

Send me your favorite words—the good ones. The nice ones. The ones that make you think of things and people you love. The words that taste good in your mouth and make you want to say them over and over out-loud. I obviously need to refresh my vocabulary with some better words, especially before my bank account runs dry.

4 comments:

Louis said...

Here's five in case you forgot them...

gesticulate
ethereal
epiphany
eloquent
arabesque

I know you have a profound vocabulary, but these are all pretty good words for the wordsmith's toolkit. The three "E's" usually denote good thoughts, and the other two are just interesting.

LK

Redblur63 said...

Wow. Great choices. Thanks! I wonder how it would sound if I yelled "arabesque" when I drop a screwdriver on my foot instead of *&^Q#@^%%!

jungomonkey said...

Infundibuloform is good. I'm not sure I spelled it right, but it means "funnel-shaped." Some high-schoolers taught it to me 20 years ago, so you KNOW it's cool.

(and I am not jungomonkey, any more than you are anonymous)

Redblur63 said...

And I am so relieved to learn that this comment was, in fact, NOT written by jungomonkey, as that would infer that the little darling had read my post, which was not exactly jungomonkey-friendly.

But, yes, infundibuloform is a cool word. I'll try yelling it next time I do myself a painful injury in a public place.