Since I write about language, people ask me questions all the time about capitalization, spelling, grammar, and other serious matters of national security. But nobody asks me the questions that really warm my cocoa, like: Would it be more proper to say a potential sex poodle is “lustable,” “lustable-after,” or “lust-afterable”? In a letter of resignation, should a supervisor’s approach be described as “assbackwards,” “bassackwards,” or “backasswards”? Which of these spellings would look more impressive on a wedding invitation: “fuckedupness” or “fuckedupedness”? (A Google search shows more hits for the former, but I kinda like the sound of the latter). And which version of “absolutely” sounds the most suave and professorial? The choices are: “absofuckinglutely,” “absobloodylutely,” “absoblessedlutely,” “absobleedinglutely,” “absofreakinglutely,” “absofrigginlutely,” “absofrikkinlutely,” “absoflippinlutely,” “absofunkinlutely,” “ “absogoddamnlutely,” “absotootly,” and “absoschmuckinglutely.”
My favorite current nickname for a co-worker is “the poodle from hell.” My favorite old nickname for a classmate is “Steak-umm.”
A “Dirty Banana” is a yummy Caribbean drink, and a “banana wiggler” is a worm used as fishing bait. A “banana hammock” is a speedo or other scanty, skimpy, sketchy covering for a “tummy banana,” which is a tallywhacker. “Bashing the banana” and “buffing the banana” mean the same thing as “slammin’ the salmon” and “warming up the altar boy’s lunch.” Now you can’t say you didn’t learn anything about bananas today.
The best typo I’ve seen lately was “phoenix skills” for “phonics skills.” Unintentionally, the writer has his priorities in order. Phonics is the science of spoken sounds, but how much science do you need to yap? I don’t know a clone from a chromosome, and I can babble, bellow, and bitch just fine. On the other hand, listen to the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “phoenix”: “A mythical bird, of gorgeous plumage, fabled to be the only one of its kind, and to live five or six hundred years in the Arabian desert, after which it burnt itself to ashes on a funeral pile of aromatic twigs ignited by the sun and fanned by its own wings, but only to emerge from its ashes with renewed youth, to live through another cycle of years.” Not bad. I also remember that the Phoenix character from the X-Men could read minds and eat planets and stuff. Though I still wouldn’t have the qualifications for my dream job (teaching sign language to apes), I’d take phoenix skills over phonics skills any day, because a guy gets hungry. And planets are pretty.
According to Fifty Years Among the New Words, the term “anti-anti-communist” was coined in the 1950’s, meaning “one who opposes those who attack communism or communists.” Two negatives may not make a positive, but they do make a very cool word. I searched Google for “anti-anti-“ and found examples of “anti-anti-American,” “anti-anti-Pokemon,” “anti-anti-Saddamism,” “anti-anti-missile defense,” “anti-anti-Semitism,” “anti-anti-Britney,” “anti-anti-Christ,” “anti-anti-spyware,” and “anti-anti-evolutionism.” There were even a few examples with more “anti-”s, like “anti-anti-anti-math,” “anti-anti-anti-bioterrorism,” and “anti-anti-anti-anti-climaxes.” Since I’m hyphen-happy, I love all these words very much, but on a personal note, I must admit I am anti-anti-Lena Olin and anti-anti-anti-pea soup.
The words of the week:
In the name of love, who isn’t a poo-eater sometimes? (In the metaphorical sense, at least). While any of us might run for cover because our schmoopsie-poo loves drugs, violence, or Everybody Loves Raymond, just as often we’ll open up wide, in a metaphorical-turd-gobbling frenzy. In the pages of Maledicta, I’ve found a few terrific versions of this idea, including these lovey-dovey declarations: “I would eat a yard of her shit just to get up to bite her ass,” “I would eat the peanuts out of her shit,” and “There’s many a man would eat a yard of her shit for a lick at her hole.” In Canadian Sayings, I found a similar one that shows both sweetness and curiosity: “I’d eat a mile of her shit just to see where it came from.” Bon appetite.