I Love Words


Being in the middle of my first century, I have a different understanding of words and their usage than kids young enough to be my grandchildren. Sometimes it bugs me to no end when I hear kids talk in what is generally text speak slang, and I loathe reading text messages that use “UR” for “you are, or your” and the like. But, what bugs me most, is how the meaning of words are twisted around from the way I learned them.

The word ‘nice’ used to be a compliment. Now it isn’t at all. I have come to loathe the word as it is used as a dismissive, if subtle, insult. When I hear anyone under 60 use the word, it is always drawled in a tone of voice that absolutely grates on my nerves. Superlatives have to be super words now. We can’t say, “oh, that’s a lovely dress.” Now it needs to have more “oomph” when we compliment someone. We have to use words like amazing, cute, darling, smashing, hot, sexy, and always a word or phrase that invokes a meaning of thin.

I think a lot of the super superlatives are due, in part, to two generations, or more, of kids sitting in front of televisions as companies hype the products they sell to stay in business. Loud, excited, or oozing suggestions of seduction and sex, commercials overwhelm our senses with the urgent need to buy a product that will make us all beautiful, rich, popular, smell good, eat well, or any number of things. All of it is, of course, hyperbole. However, all those super Superlatives have become ingrained in our cultural brain and skip around in our verbiage. Insincere, in the deepest way, gaggles of teenage girls and middle aged women squeal and giggle at one another from the moment they meet until they finally shut up and go home. Generally, less than five minutes of meaningful conversation will take place in an hour.

I was shopping with my granddaughter last week. She is five, and very into shopping. We were standing next to a mother and daughter as they looked at clothes. Every other word was something inane. “Oh that’s cute. You will look hot in that (the kid was all of nine). That’s cool, you will rock that color.” Bella looked at me after the mother held up one particularly horrific outfit and said, loudly, “Nana, that girl is too fat for that outfit. She will look like a fat grape.” It took every bit of self control I had not to laugh. She was right. She was also not buying the babble. I was very proud of her for being both honest and straight forward in her comments. We will, however, need to work on her vocal volume a bit. The mother stomped off in a huff. The kid didn’t even pay attention to Bella. She was too busy cooing over the outfit that will make her look like a grape.

I, like, you know, hate it, when people, like, kinda, you know, never really say a full sentence without one of those, you know, like stupid phrases. I also get impatient with folks who hesitate and pause every other word, and fill in the silence with uhh, mmm, err, ahh, or any other nonsense noise. How about simply stating, “I need to think for a second before I answer that question?”

Now the Christmas season is here. Yes, I said, gasp, the C word. CHRISTMAS. I know all the history behind the X in Christmas as the symbol for Christ. Got it. Greeks, spell things weird. I also know that it is a holiday season for the Jewish and the made up one for all the ‘former slaves’ in America. And I also know that it is held during what was a Roman celebration of some god or another. However, traditionally, since the death of Christ, and the rise of protestants, Christmas has been a holy day celebration for CHRISTIANS. So, I don’t like words and phrases like holiday tree, and Xmas. I dislike people trying to secularize what is a sacred holiday for me. So the modern terms that take all the true meaning from the holy day annoy me.

With all the new technology around us, people don’t actually speak to each other very much. I know my teen texts her friends more than she every rings them on the phone and chats with them. Chat has come to mean typing furiously on the keyboard while on line with a bunch of other people. Chat rooms, a new use of an old term, are now electronic pretend places on line where a bunch of strangers type at each other and generally end up in “flame wars” over their comments. In my mind I see a vague, hazy room with a fire in the middle of the floor and people screaming at each other.

Sometimes I long for an intelligent conversation with someone who actually knows how to have a conversation. One where I speak, they listen, then they speak and I listen. A conversation using words that have more than two syllables would be good. A conversation that invokes laughter, concentration, and lightening quick thinking would be incredible.. A conversation with an adult, teen, or child that doesn’t have slang and hesitations throughout, but the proper use of complete sentences and a tendency to maintain at least a hint of a link to the original subject would make me happy. Too many of us are simply too distracted by shiny things, ringing cell phones, and movement to concentrate on a long conversation. Soon, like handwriting letters, conversation will be a lost art. Eventually, we will all communicate through the typed word, and only gesture and grunt like original cave dwellers when we actually meet in person.

Oh well, I still love words. Shakespeare, Spencer, Pope, Bronte, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Dickens, and even a few Science Fiction/ Fantasy writers use words that say what they mean and mean what they say. The words can make me laugh out loud, cry, ponder, and fill me with an overwhelming urge to write. I can only hope that future books aren’t filled with one word pages written in text speak.

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Heartsick


You don’t know me at all, so let me clue you in. I have lived in 11 countries and all over the US. I am as pro America as anyone can get. I believe in the Republic, I stand firmly by the Constitution and all that the Founding Fathers of the country professed as necessary for the republic to succeed. I know, to my bones, that socialism and communism are simply modern day enslavement governments. Nothing makes me cry more easily than seeing the flag go by in a parade, or against the sky of our country, except for hearing the national anthem or holding one of my grandchildren. I love my country. And I am heart sick at the way that worm in the white house and his minions are raping her every day.

‎Big Fish, Small Fish, Fisherman or Cat?


‎”Some people like to be a big fish in a small pond, some a small fish in a big pond. Me, I would rather be the cat that knows the fisherman.” KJC

In an exchange on a social network, I posted the above. It was simply something that fell out of my head and engendered a bit of conversation.

So, to explain it in a way that made sense, I started applying it to areas of my life. The more I thought about it, the more I could find metaphores that fit the example.

‎1. Poltics: The cat, one can go for either fish. A good fisherman, like a cat, is independent and thinks for him or herself. They both tend to go their own way to do what they want to do. However, the fisherman can be lured away to a different fishing hole by promises and stories. He or she can also be tempted to use a different bait than usual so that the fish bite less, but if they are big enough, he feels he has a good return. The cat still gets to eat, either way. So, in a political situation the only one who comes out ahead, without compromising its position or morals, is the cat.

2. General Life: However in other areas of life, a cat is simply someone who stands above the fray, keeps a calm head, and does what has to be done. Those who do well tend to think smart. have a plan, skip the big pond and other competition, skip the small pool and the big fish, because they will all be food for the fisherman. Who, once he catches them, will clean the fish and leave behind food for the patient cat. Be prepared, be patient, and be strong to succeed.

3. As a religious metaphore: the Fisherman is the Savior, the fish in the large pond are lost souls, and the fish in the small pond is evil. The cat is the wise person who knows that as long as he is friends with the Savior and stands by his side, then he will be spiritually fed.

I get it. My brain works in weird and weirder ways as I age. But, hey, it works for me.