Monday, December 06, 2004

This Just In:

I'm pissed off. Make that super pissed off. You guessed it: cold shower again this morning. What the hell am I doing wrong? That means that I've started off every morning since last Thursday screaming obscenities, and no matter how much I tell myself 'Now Jamie, you musn't curse, it only shows that you aren't a real lady, and that you have a low level of intelligence' it just doesn't make me feel as good as when I can let out a good old FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.
However, just writing that sentence makes me realize that there is something about me that you may not know: I can actually speak and write proper English. It's probably difficult for you to tell since when I'm writing for myself, I start sentences with But...So...And..... Shameful, I know. So to atone for these atrocities, I offer you this:

Lessons in the English Language

1. Slacks

When I had some friends over the other day, we wondered what the difference between pants and slacks was. We weren't sure if there was a physical difference between them, such as: slacks are pants with pleats, or if was a generation thing, such as slacks are what people over 60 call pants. What do you think?

I happen to have a Collins dictionary right here, which is no OED, I know, but here's what it says:

pants-undergarment for lower trunk; trousers in the US
slacks-informal trousers worn by men or women

Okay, so for me that doesn't clarify anything, and it actually raises some questions, namely:

1. Trousers? (don't you just love that in an essay about good English, I threw in a one-word question? and then didn't even bother to capitalize these ones? fabulous!)
trousers-two-legged outer garment with legs reaching to the ankles

2. Are slacks always plural? I mean, if you have just the one pair, do you have a slack, or do you always have slacks?

I think we can conclude that slacks are not just pants with pleats, because as the definition says, slacks are informal. Doesn't that rule out pleats? Is there such thing as casual pleats? Don't even tell me!

Moving on...

2. Snacks

So I've been reading some crummy Jane Austen lately...okay, well it's not really that crummy, but I expected it to be because I hated Charlotte Bronte, and somehow I had the two entwined in my head. But I felt I owed her a fair shake, so I read Sense and Sensibility this week, and came across the word nuncheon. Isn't that a great little word? It's defined as a piece of victuals eaten between meals. Mmmm...victuals (assume I said that in my best Homer Simpson accent). So basically, snacks. I for one vote to bring back the word nuncheon. When you're at the movies, offer to get your date some nuncheon (I haven't decided if it should be pluralized or not; either way, it's funny). When you get a case of the midnight munchies, head to Burger King for some nuncheon. Kudos to Groove Salad for suggesting to me that BK should henceforth be described as 'whoppy', as in "MMM, this nuncheon sure is whoppy." Isn't that super?

3. Nother

A whole nother problem that I have is with the word nother. Now, I have performing a small experiment in my last few entries, using this word as if it was a real word. I was sure someone would call me on it, but no one did. Now I know that MOST people know that nother is not a real word, and certainly MOST of you seem pretty intelligent, so I have come to the conclusion that:
1. you are all way too polite
2. you probably think that I'm an idiot
Well, I've been called worse than that, so no harm done. But this is a whole nother day, so from this time on, when you see the word nother, know that I am writing it with a smirk.

Okay, well, I really feel like we've covered the basics here. I'd just like to add to a list of funny words that was started in a comment section, where gist and pith were noted. Feel free to add your own. Class dismissed.

1. girth
2. stubby
3. dinghy
4. emu
5. goulash
6. nubile
7. fecund (doesn't that sound just 110% dirty?)
8. macaroni
9. paunch
10. pectoral

15 comments:

Gone Away said...

Ah'm larnin Texan heeyer n Ah kin tell y'all thet whut ya's callin "nother" is reelly a Texan woryud n it be spelled "nuther" (as in "Texas - it's a whole nuther country").

bensaki said...

I have a one-word question for you:
"Performaning?"

Also, you should have said "...as if it were a real word."

I don't think I've ever seen an essay on good english that didn't include a few errors. So it goes.

Anyway, I liked the entry, so here are a few more words for you:
gubernatorial
estuary
buttresses
dangle
ilk
dorsal
sassafras

There are so many more; my friends and I have contests like that all the time. Nice entry.

transience said...

fecund. hands. down. raunchy.

citygurl said...

knucker: a water demon. Why do I love this word.

Jay said...

Hi guys,

First off, being I've never met any real-life Texans (I've only seen them imitated on TV, and usually not in a flattering light)I find it difficult to tailor my speech toward them. Sorry :) I'll try harder in the future.
Second, I never use spell-check, and spelling errors don't usually bother me much, especially since I'm a little dyslexic and they look okay to me. However, just this once, I changed performaning just for you, Bensaki, so you'd better appreciate it. Spell check just is not for me-at the very least it always attempts to correct my very own name, no matter how many times I add it to the safe list. I give up!
I don't know how I left gubernatorial off the list...any word that starts with goober deserves to be on the list!

J

Cal the Wonderdog said...

Hi Jay(s),
Number 2 is particularly interesting to me due to the fact that my sidekick has been trying to teach me English using this site: http://www.unwords.com/

My favorite so far is memnants

Cal

P.S. Not sure what humans should do about that pit bull thing. I was so sad when I read that your friend was attacked in your yard. You have me asking the same question now . . .

Harry said...

Crammed with a tasty nuncheon provided by nother Whoppy-reared nubile, I must now fetch my phlogiston self to nap, my J-appetite sated for the leftover day.

Monica said...

I never liked the word slacks, it always bothered me, it reminds me of smelly polyester pants.....

Nuncheon is a great word, I will start using it today :)

Cromulent is the word :)

Jay said...

Oh. My. Gawd. Polyester is so the key to slacks! How did I miss that? And Harry, happy napping. I hope all those words don't give you nightmares.

Harry said...

The ilk of a gubernatorial buttress dangles o’er the fizz of the sassafras estuary, hard upon the oily dorsal of guck and slew, nullifying my nuncheon nap…hark, the damn day breaks early, Billy Bob!

genetic mishap said...

Hello, great post. My favorite word is "jacket". Go ahead, you can say it. Jacket. Say it again. Jacket jacket jacket.

arash said...

bafoon
nimrod

I like those words

Jay said...

Hold the press!
I forgot to mention cahoots, and cooter.

bensaki said...

I'm flattered that you edited a post just for me, especially since i'm a complete stranger. I actually never spell check either, and errors usually never bother me, unless they're in a post about good english. But thanks, and I'll mention you have quite an entertaining blog.

Jay said...

By the way, ever since 'pith', Jason has been making 'pthhh' noises at everything; I had to explain to him that it's not a noice, it's an actual word, meaning essential plant tissue or something like that (where did my dictionary go, by the way?)