A Brief Thought: Wordsmithery

I like words.

Aww, a girl and her dictionary.
Aww, how cute. A girl and her dictionary.

Let me rephrase that…I like MOST words.

I’ve come up with a very short list of words that I like and dislike for various reasons.

*Disclaimer: As always, the views I write are just my opinion and should not be taken as the gospel. This post is intended for entertainment purposes…nothing more, nothing less. Void where prohibited. No refunds after 30 days. Play ball.

Words I Can Do Without:

1) Diminutive. Why should a word to describe something small be so large? Suggested alternatives: teeny, tiny, little. See also “petite.”

2) Tort. I took one whole business law class in college. I read a lot of John Grisham. I have no problem with the word itself, per se, but I’d rather see it with “-illa” attached to the end. That sounds good. Suggested alternatives: tortilla. (Nothing so right can possibly be a wrong.)

3) Fabulous. I’m blaming, oh, say, the turn of the millennium for this one. It appeared in so many different television shows at the time that I’ve lost count. It’s somewhat…aloof, perhaps? (This is, of course, assuming that words have personalities.) Suggested alternatives: wonderful, terrific.

Words I Can Live With:

1) Petite. It’s such a perky little word, don’t you think? As a petite person, I approve.

2) Amazing. Although this one does tend to conjure up images of childhood magic shows, it’s a handy adjective to keep in your arsenal.

3) Pleasant. Speaks for itself. Reminds me of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Aww.

Yes, I like words. I guess I even like the ones I don’t.

A Picky Observation: Bovine Illiteracy

For many years now, a well-known chicken chain restaurant has used cows in its advertising campaigns. The cows write messages on billboards to encourage potential customers to spare their lives by indulging in more poultry. (I’ll let you figure out the restaurant. Here’s a hint…they probably only sell right wings. Figured it out yet? Good for you. That one was easy. Don’t worry. There won’t be a quiz later.)

It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to observe that almost all of the words on the billboards are completely misspelled.

I may be the only one, but I feel for those poor cows.

And not for the reasons you might think.

We all know what’s expected of a cow. We all know what the future holds for the typical cow.

Do we ever stop to think of what these cows really have the potential to become? I feel that we have failed the bovine community by not encouraging them to expect more of themselves than ending up on a skewer.

(What time is it? Gettin’ hungry here…)

Have you ever stopped to ask a cow what they think their future looks like? If you ask a cow about their future, they stare forlornly and continue chewing on the very feed that will ultimately lead to their demise. You might get the occasional “moo,” but they have not been given the tools to adequately express themselves.

Bottom line–a limited vocabulary limits your potential.

When it comes to functional literacy, they are challenged by dexterity–it’s true–but, as far as I know, not too many people have actually taken the time to help them navigate those obstacles. If they could write more easily, perhaps spelling skills would follow.

(I haven’t eaten dinner yet. I shouldn’t be writing this while I’m hungry. What to eat tonight…hmmm…)

We’re not doing a very good job of emphasizing their positive attributes, either. All too often, you hear stories about farm kids disrupting a cow’s peaceful slumber by pushing them over for sport. Cow tipping.

And let’s not even talk about the degradation that is cow patty bingo.

No, it’s time to do something. The next time you see a cow grazing the day away, go read them a story. Give them a paintbrush. You could even give them drumsticks so they can put their bells to use. They deserve a chance to become something other than an under-cooked outbreak of E.coli.

(Or become something other than a really, really, REALLY good rib-eye…with a baked potato on the side…with sour cream…)

You know what? Just forget I said anything. I’m gonna go fire up the grill.