Remember the good old days when radio stations actually played music? Back when DJ’s were merely on air to provide inoffensive filler between songs, their serviceable presence as pleasantly innocuous as egg-shell blue wallpaper? Sadly, nowadays, the airwaves are cluttered with radio personalities all vying to be the next Howard Stern. And being subjected to their “best efforts” can get downright aggravating given that most of them possess the intellect of circus ponies. Take the on-air trio I happened to discover this morning, discussing Barack Obama‘s recent appearance on Letterman. What captured their interest (and held it for a good fifteen minutes of the radio show) didn’t have anything to do with politics or a humorous exchange between Dave and his guest but, rather, Obama’s use of the word “connote” (“But, you know, it’s a common expression in at least Illinois,”said Obama. “I don’t know about New York City. I don’t know where you put lipstick on here. But in Illinois, the expression connotes the idea that…”). It struck them as nothing short of amazing that a presidential candidate would be making up words. Connote?! Just to be sure, they went online to make sure such a word didn’t exist. Spelled K-O-N-O-T-E, it did not. Weird. What the hell was Barack Obama trying to say? Well, while the average dolphin could have probably figured it out, these three rocket scientists didn’t have a clue – until Google spell-checked their search and spat out “connote = imply: express or state indirectly”. The gist of their conversation went from “Obama’s making up words!” to “ He’s using archaic language!” Rather than simply adding the word to their limited vocabulary and moving on, they fixated on its obscurity as if it was last used by Chaucer in The Summoner’s Tale where even he hadn’t quite known what to do with it, as curiously antiquated as the practice of alchemy or an Eddie Murphy comedy.
Which got me thinking. The English language is in a constant state of flux as certain words are added to accepted vocabulary while others fall by the wayside where, in time, they become as irrelevant as those Waz Up guys. But we, as occasional conversationalists, can change that by keeping them alive and ensuring they do not simply fade away. Join me in my bid to save the following words by incorporating them into your daily chitchat:
1) shemozzle = n., a state of chaos or confusion (Wikitionary)
2) jeremiad = n., a long mournful lamentation or complaint (Collins)
3) contumacious = adj., willfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient (Wordnet)
4) intertrigo = n., chafing between two skin surfaces, as at the armpit (Collins)
5) spoony = adj., old-fashioned (Collins)
6) espial = n., the act or fact of being seen or discovered (Collins)
7) educe = vb., to draw out or bring out; elicit; To infer or deduce (Wiktionary)
8 ) lorgnette = n., a pair of spectacles or opera glasses mounted on a handle (Collins)
9) divagate = v., digress: lose clarity or turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument in writing, thinking, or speaking (Wordnet)
10) quaky = adj., inclined to quake; shaky (Collins)
At the very least, see if you can work them into you posts.
Hey, Bob Picardo promised to come by my office tomorrow and field your fan questions as part of a special Bob Picardo Video Q&A Video Segment. If you have any questions for Bob, post them anytime between now and when he walks into my office tomorrow.
Today’s video = Touring the FX Stage with Carl Binder, Part IV