Thursday, September 16, 2004

Charm, confidence, and caramel sauce

Today's word is "ooze."

Despite how much blood, sewage, mud, pea soup, and contaminated groundwater is probably oozing along somewhere in the world right now, "ooze" the verb seems to be used more commonly as a metaphor. I just did some haphazard Googling and found plenty of sentences like "Chaos theory oozes charm," "Marquette oozes confidence," and "Versace oozes glamour," plus phrases like "oozing buckets of smug smarminess."

There is plenty of literal oozing going on ("Hippo skin oozes antibiotic sunscreen") but even situations that must have some corporeal-ooze-factor are often described in metaphorical terms, like "warmed brie just oozes elegance and decadence..."

I guess anything can potentially be oozed--including "venom and jihad" and "caramel sauce." Maybe the potential to be oozed is what unites us all; scientists searching for a Unified Field Theory can call off the dogs!

I can't talk about "ooze" without thinking about oozing cysts, and I can't think about oozing cysts without mentioning the terrific song "Oozing Cyst Blues," by Timothy Aurthur and Alan Seidler. The first stanza should give you a taste--uh, maybe "hint" would be more appetizing--of what this highly-recommended song is like:

Woke up this morning and I'll tell you the news
Looked down at my cyst and it began to ooze
Lord, Lord, talking' 'bout my oozing cyst
Old Man Devil got me on his list

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