Friday, October 28, 2011

Lasterday the operationing was so terrible that we completely underhauled this blog

"We’re gonna burn that bridge when we get there.”

Some people burn bridges, some people cross bridges, and others, when faced with insurmountable obstacles, just burn them down. (This was spoken by a planner to an engineer). Now, it's possible that this planner is a "glasses half empty kind of person" (another entry for this blog), but how many glasses are we talking about? Because as I see it, if you're a two glasses half empty kinda person, well, that's a whole glass of empty, which is nothing.

Over Awed – I feel like we’ve covered this ground together. In previous posts we’ve had over indulge and over empowered and now, over awed. Why do people feel the need to add over in front of words that are already fully stating their intended meaning? Awe: A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might. Now go ahead and try to put over in front of any of those definitive words. Over reverence, over dread, etc.

Take for Granite – To take something for granted is to fail to appreciate the value of something. To take something for granite? You mean the often course igneous rock? "Alex, I'd like words that sound like other words but cannot be used in their stead for negative $5,000."

We touched bases – Co-workers, I love ‘em, they never stop giving me material! The euphemism, to touch base, means to make contact, to coordinate, to establish communication, etc. To touch bases with someone, welllllll...........is that like a Vulcan mind meld?













Operationing – “The left turn pocket is queuing but overall the intersection is operationing fine.” Wow, even for a traffic engineer that’s a stretch. Thank you G.K. for reporting this, and K.T., for providing material for this blog, laughter, and always laughing along with us when we laugh at you.

Lasterday – The day before yesterday, lasterday. I love it when my daughter (three) says this, always cracks me up, I even encourage it. I think it’s a completely reasonable word, even if she means yesterday. I hereby put forth that lasterday should become official for the day before yesterday. Always makes me want to break into song with just one little change: "Lasterday, all my troubles seemed so far away....oh lasterday, came suddenly..."

Obsoless – To obsoless, the act of becoming obsolete, the slip into obsolesity, the degration of that which is current and up to date. The current condition of the English language could be described as being in a state of obsoless. Oh the obsolessness! Do people ever consider what they are saying before the say it? Clearly not, sigh.

Completely Underhauled - Ah yes, the classic underhaul. When you're a glasses half empty kinda person, and things begin to obsoless, dispense with the overhauling and go straight to the underhauling. Taking something that's working poorly (in this case the person was talking about a travel demand model) and underhauling it? Well, what you'd be left with at that point is unclear, something due south of useful no doubt, which of course, is what generated the need for the underhaul in the first place.

Wurds That Just Arunt 3.0

My friend (thanks Ballen!) has a boss who experiences some cognitive dissonance with regularity. She has said, in the past few months, with much frequency, the following:

  • Pacific (when she means specific)

  • Ackable (when she means applicable)

  • En-Jair (when she means Engineer)

  • The Building is sprinkled (when describing a given building that has a sprinkler system)

  • And “landed up" instead of "ended up". Real life example from said woman: "We landed up getting the contract for this job after all!”.

In this single post this person has overtaken the woman from my previous office who gave us the communistic trifecta: “supposably (1) there’s this communistic (2) influence in the book of Revelations(3)! That's it folks! She's done it! The communistic trifecta!” and “fasterness.”

Let me close with a brief summary of this entry, if I may. Now, I don't want to take for granite that you've been over awed with this blog, and if you're a half glasses kinda person then over awed may not even be ackable. Just lasterday I considered a complete underhaul of the layout, as when compared to some other blogs, it seems a little stale, like it may be beginning to obsoless, but I'd really like to touch bases with all my readers before we land up anywhere, and in any case, we can burn that bridge when we get to it. To all my enjair friends, remember to be pacific and always follow code to make sure your buildings are sprinkled, and that the sprinkles are operationing well, before the occupancy permit gets issued.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I need some maturity leave to recover from my cerebral parsley

Chester Drawers – Chester Drawers is not a person. It's not the name of the actor in the movie to the left. Chester Drawers is also not furniture, despite what you might say when describing a dresser. A chest of drawers is what Americans commonly refer to as a dresser. It holds clothing, it’s three words. (Submitted by my sis Anna)

Two of the best pieces of information about chester drawers and others can be found in these two articles by Allison Burkette: The Story of Chester Drawers and The Lion, The Witch, And The Armoire: Lexical Variation In Case Furniture Terms.

Cerebral Parsley – This conjures all kinds of images in my head but mostly I think of a person with a giant wig of parsley, and thus, cerebral parsley. The correct word is of course palsy and it’s possible that the person’s tongue, from whence this utterance came, was suffering from some palsy. (Submitted by the wife)

Let’s Go Raise the Flagpole – Spoken by the co-worker who gave us “train of events”; comes this wonderfully vigorous euphemism: let’s go raise the flagpole. Of course, the common phrase is “let’s send this up the flagpole”, referring of course to a flag. The original statement from the 50’s "let's run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it" means "to present an idea tentatively and see whether it receives a favorable reaction." I’d like to think that this person meant the idea was going to take so much work to get across to management that we not only needed to run it up the flagpole, but we needed to raise the flagpole first. Of course, that would be giving this person way too much credit. (Submitted by S.H.)


Smores & a Barn Fire The beach is a fine place. One can swim there, play in the sand, or just relax. Often groups go there in the evening and build giant bon fires. They roast hot dogs and often make smores by melting chocolate and putting it betwixt some graham crackers. They do not, as a recent church member declared, go to the beach for smores and a barn fire. While still tasty, this event would not doubt be marked by emergency response, the 10 o’clock news, and some hefty fines. (Submitted by G.K.)

Maturity Leave – My wife saw this in an advertisement for a job. It said "position is a temporary assignment for a 6-month maturity leave". I’ve heard of paternity leave and maternity leave, but never maturity leave. Where was this when I graduated from college? Can you imagine your employer giving you six months off to mature? Paid?! I can think of a few cases where this would apply and plan to use this term sparingly at key moments in conversations with co-workers who are apt to complain about some annoying minutiae they’ve encountered. I imagine it would go something like this:

Co-Worker: “First the copier, now the water filter, I hate this office!”

Me: “You know, you should check the benefits section of the company intranet, I think they have something new called maturity leave, I think you’d really benefit from it.”

Soverinity – This was submitted as a comment to a previous post from my friend P.B., but I thought I’d point it out. The real word is sovereignty, pronounced sov-rin-tee. Don't go adding sylables willy nilly wherever you want or you might end up in a forthcoming blog post, Mispronunciations That Vix Us 3.0.

From the "Best" Minds of America’s Youth

My wife teaches online courses and just between us, most of these people are not the cream of the crop. The following are a few examples of their IQ and or writing acumen.

Essay Statement: "When describing these two animals, cats and dogs, they have a lot of similarities. They both were masticated from wild animals." (They of course meant domesticated, but extra credit for coming up with something imaginative, if not correct.)

Essay Statement: "Bare with me". (Unpossible, you’re writing is clearly unbareable.)

Essay Statement: “In fact, California is home to the highest peak in the continental United States, Mount Whitey.” (Which is opposite Mt. Blacky of course. They meant Mount Whitney.)

Essay Statement: "This statement is over exaggerated." (Clearly)

Essay Title: "People That Are In Love To Ones That Aren’t" (My head hurts trying to understand this; I’m taking a mulligan on my typical annotation. Ah heck, I'm all in. Clearly this person was referring to people who are in love with someone who doesn't feel the same way, about them. They are the aren't, and the writer is the people.

And haven't we all been the aren't at sometime in our life? Haven't we all been the people? If you're the aren't, it's an awkward position, and this person has no doubt had some awkwardness in their life, as evidenced by that essay title.)

And finally, seen by the wife in a Craigslist Advertisement: We are seeking “13” people for our new San Juan Wellness Center opening September 15th, 2010. (Which begs the question, so how many people do you really need?)

Friday, July 16, 2010

The train of events clearly shows that we do not meet mustard

The Proof is the Pudding (Contributed by S.H.)

This phrase dates back at least to the 1600’s with perhaps the most famous usage coming via Cervantes in Don Quixote. Most sources quote the following "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." Meaning that the true value or quality of something can only be judged when it's put to use. The meaning is often summed up as "results are what count." While over time this has come to be abbreviated to “the proof is in the pudding” or simply “the proof in pudding” (retaining the original meaning), I can find no reference to the term “the proof is the pudding.” This phrase does not retain the same meaning as the original. It seems to imply rather that the result is the proof. Of course, if that’s what you wanted to say then don’t bastardize the age old saying just say the proof is the result. Knowing this co-worker, they were trying to say it correctly and just had a synaptical short, something of a regular occurrence for them.

Prounce

A horse can prance. A cat can pounce. The former neighbor of my sister Anna was always telling her that her dog Lucy was “such a prouncer.” You think that’s bad? Wait until you read about unquenchionable. People and their made up words, making this blog possible, thank you people. I guess I am prone to prounce on the misspoken word, omagosh I’m such a prouncer!

Spelt

Not only did you spell it wrong but you pronounced spell wrong, as in “dear you spelt that word wrong.” Spelt sounds like a small fish good only for bait, e.g., “when we chum the water with spelt our catch numbers go waaaaay up. It really nicens up our paycheck.”

Nicen Not to be confused with the product Nice N’ Easy, or the Nicene Creed, I can only find a definition of this word on the very authoritative Wiktionary (note saracasm) as to become or make nicer and used in the phrase “nicen up”. Let me try this for a minute. “Wow, those rims really nicen up your ride.” “Lemme just run inside and nicen up before we bounce.” “I only wish that my charity would lead to the ongoing nicening of America.” Nope, that’s not working for me.

Unquenchionable

I heard this on the radio on the way to work the other day which caused my head to tilt slightly to the side and upward, a single eyebrow raised, as I pondered the potential etymology of this word. Un-quench-tionable…………hmnnnn……something that cannot be quenched…………..something that cannot be questioned………….something that…..this guy on the radio just made up. It had something to do with George Steinbrenner and his love or desire for the game. I tried to make it work in a sentence, I failed. (See also my mad MS Paint skillz)

Train of Events (Contributed by S.H.)

Choo choo! The event trains comin’ baby! We are all familiar with the phrase “chain of events”, a number of actions and their effects that are contiguous and linked together. But train of events I’ve never heard of before. Lets try to make this work. Train of Events: A series of events that are linked together and travel together on a defined path with a predictable origin and destination. This train may be used to flummox high school math students when used in conjunction with another train of events traveling from the opposite direction at a different speed with a different start time.” The guy that uttered this phrase sits in an office next to the woman who has been immortalized on this blog with the use of “fasterness” and the communistic trifecta (see older posts). Maybe they are rubbing off on each other?

Meet Mustard

This is funny without clarification because the use of mustard with “meet” makes you think of a hotdog or hamburger. The originator however did not have this in mind. This person said that we need to make sure our work “meets mustard”. Muster, it’s muster, not mustard. Muster means to assemble or summon (troops, etc.), as for inspection, roll call, or service. So they meant to say that our work needs to meet a certain standard upon inspection. What they said was our work needs to meet mustard, a condiment.

Perscribe (Contributed by G.K.)

I left this last for a reason, but first, my take. You can prescribe something, mostly commonly medication. You cannot perscribe anything. You’re free to perspire while being a scribe even (see photo of scribe in hoodie), but you shan’t perscribe. When this was brought to my attention by a co-worker the following conversation took place consisting entirely of blog related terminology.

Co-worker: perscribe? how does one perscribe something....

Me: the proof is the pudding my friend

Co-worker: whoa, all that in the kitchen sink?

Me: It's unquenchionable

Me: a train of events you cannot deny

Co-worker: good thing he's just an acquaintenance

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If you don’t hyper-down people are gonna come outta the woodworks!

Overneath – Really? Overneath? As in over something and underneath it at the same time? As in the English language is over your head and beneath you at the same time? Hold something up, anything, fruit, a stapler, a small child. Now with your other hand, try to describe how something is overneath it. (Note: If you chose small child please do this over a soft surface.) You will fail! There is no such thing! I remembered this picture of myself trying to explain something and thought it a fitting illustration. My friend Josh Burgner's reaction says it all. Submitted by my sis Anna.

Abulence “aa-boo-lence” – I’ve heard of the am-buh-lam (ebonics for Ambulance), but never until recently had I heard of an abulence. Now I know saying the entire word can be tedious, am-byoo-lence, but if we’re going to start dropping slabbles from words just for convenience could we at least start with less important words? I mean, think about if you’re injured and cry out for an abulence and nobody responds because they have no idea what you are talking about and think you’re a crazy person? [Injured bicyclist] - “Help!! I need an abulence, someone help me!” [Passing couple] “Can you believe that honey? Crackheads in our neighborhood, unbelievable, I hope it rains on that guy.” Submitted by my sis Deb.

Hyper-Down – A classic from parents and older siblings alike indicating you are being too hyper and need to settle down or calm down. This is often utilized when settle and calm down have become ineffective and you are hoping that by conjoining these two words you might access the calming portion of the subjects nervous system. Alas, for some of us no amount of verbal persuasion could temper the affect of six packs of pop-rocks. Submitted by my sis Deb.


Hypocritical Oath – A student in one of my wife’s online critical thinking courses used this in a paper about the death penalty. Unfortunately, it was not a play on words. It would have been great if it was, something like “Doctors who administer the lethal doses have apparently set aside the hypocritical oath they took.” I would award bonus points for that myself. Sadly, without knowledge of this unintentional pun their only bonus is getting on this blog. Submitted by the wife.

FasternessIf you’ve read some of the earlier posts on this blog you might remember the “communistic trifecta” where a co-worker said something to the affect of “supposably (1) there’s this communistic (2) influence in the book of Revelations(3! That's it folks! She's done it! The communistic trifecta!)”. Well, just this week she uttered another blog worthy sentence something along the lines of “In the future I’d like to accomplish that task with more fasterness.” Fasterness? That’s not even remotely close to being a real word. People say supposably and Revelations all the time, but fasterness? What is the antonym, slowerness? “I should probably drive with more slowerness to avoid getting into an accident.” See the level of rediculosity? Submitted by Amanda R.

Aquaintenences – Earlier we discussed the trimming of syllables from words with abulence and here we have a minister telling his congregation to reach out to their aquain-ten-nen-ces, clearly a case of the word cloak. When you’re not sure about a word, how to pronounce it, or perhaps what its plural form is, you just sprinkle in a little something extra to “cloak” your misgivings. Heck, you may even get it right. In this case, it was wrong, and making things worse, he used it about seven times. The veil was rent, the way opened, and light shined on this word cloak. Submitted by Gene K.

People will come outta the woodworks – Woodworks are wood-like surfaces that spray water whenever you stare at them for a very long time. No but seriously, there’s no such thing. An idiom, “come out of the woodwork” means to emerge from obscurity or a place of seclusion. To come outta the woodworks, well, I guess if you had a giant wood structure or sculpture that people could go into or out of then you could use this statement and it would be correct, otherwise, drop the “s” people.

Everything in the kitchen sink – Another idiom that, apparently used with more fasterness than their intellect could handle, was just slightly modified with an “in” where a “but” should be, completely and utterly modifying the meaning. Unfortunately, this new idiom is understood to mean the dishes, the food pieces, some bacteria, and a few cleaning utensils.

Over Empowered – Co-workers, an endless stream of nonsense. This was uttered in the following context, no further anecdote is required. “The pickles totally over-empower this sandwich.”