4/05/2007

Dyslexic Dialog

For those dropping in at Verbicidal Tendencies for the first time, welcome. The following sideshow will introduce you to some of the featured characters that aid us in bringing this site to you.



The Verbinator has introduced you to the above cast of characters in several posts here at Verbicidal Tendencies. Each of these individuals has their own way of displaying their command of the spoken and written word. (By running your cursor over the images in the slide show above you will see the characters' names. You can slow down, stop and speed up the images using the icons on the lower left.)

Wellington Woodrow Wordsworth III is a self-proclaimed Lexicographer.

Our friendly fowl, Lexicon Leghorn, likes to use his feathers to tickle the dictionary.

A respected citizen of ancient Rome, Verbus Naturium, adds a Latin twist to his story telling. He told us about Julius Caesar's last day at his post titled Nunc Est Bibendum.

Cuzzin Clem, one of two Southern good ol' boys to appear here, is an unwitting master of the Malaprop as he talks about his school days. You can read his summer "assay" at Malappropriate Behavior

The bookworm not only digests what he reads, but also reads what he digests.

Cletus will tell us how to deal with life in the Boondocks.

Then there is LOLman who will laugh while you are groaning at the puns that appear here from time to time.

Lastly, there is Writ Tern, (no image available) who assisted the Queen of ReNoun on one her "Twisted Linguistics" cases. The hawk-nosed medieval Idiomatic Inquisitor was featured in post titled Scrambled Storytime.
The reason I am showcasing these stars of VT is that between them they can help translate some "dyslexic dialog" and convert some sesquiedalian verbiage into more nonorchidaceous forms. I culled a few gems from some random blogs to put before my panel of experts.

The Verbinator: "Although everyone at the meeting thought he was asleep, the omphalopsychite had let his thoughts drift elsewhere." - (I ask you, what in the world is an 'omphalopsychite?')

Wellington Woodrow Wordsworth III: - "Hrmph .. Allow an accomplished Lexicographer handle that one, Verbie. Simply put, an omphalopsychite is one who contemplates his navel."

The Queen of ReNoun: "Sorry, Professor, but I have to disagree with you on that one. I ran that omphalopsychite word by my Twisted Linguistics panel, and they tell me it refers to a person wearing a halo who, exiting his psychite's office, says "Omp!" Therefore, it can be defined as a delusional person under psychitetric care who isn't happy about it. But I'd be happy to defer to Clem or the Roman guy. Let's ask them.

Wordsworth is visibly shaken. He is not used to having his knowledge and expertise called into question.
Cuzzin Clem: "Begging y'all's pardon, I know I don't have the edumication what everybody else done have, but the way I sees it, the lot of y'all are wrong. Back in the hills where I wuz bred, all of my kinfolk knows that an omphalopsychite is a mind-alernating drug that that Willy Wonka guy used to keep his cheap labor force, the Oompa Loompas under his control."
The Verbinator: "Hmmm ..Those are some interesting definitions there, panel. What say we table that word for now pending further research? Okay, next on the list, and I quote from the passage where I found it, "Every morning the bibliobibuli would be waiting in line for the library to open." Anyone care to apply some sensible etymology to that tongue-twister?"

Verbus Naturium: "Friends, Romans and Blogmen, with apologies to Her Majesty the Queen of ReNoun, but I can with no measure of uncertainty say that the word is of obvious Latin origin. It is the plural form of bibliobibulus, which is a studious and learned person. In your modern vernaculars you would say that the word refers to 'people who read too much."

The Queen of ReNoun: I beg to differ with Mr. Verbus the Naturium. Ain't no such thing as reading too much. Clem, honey, whaddaya say we go snag some of that Oompa Loompa stuff and then take a look at the Verbinator's bibliobibuli tongue-twister? At first blush, I have a pretty good idea what that is. It's one of those rolling-around, snake-handling sects that speaks in tongues, isn't it? The library comes into play because, duh, they run out of tongues and have to make library runs to study up on new dead languages. Am I warm, Sir Verbinator? Say, as long as I have your ear, I would love to get your opinion of a complex new word I recently ran across: revalance.

The Verbinator: Allow me to interject here. Isn't it obvious that revalance is a term an interior decorator would use when working on window treatments? If he/she advised that you change the valance, you would then revalance.
Lexicon Leghorn nodded and began scribbling notes on his legal pad. (How he is able to read his notes, I'll never know. His handwriting resembles, ahem, chicken scratchings.)
...I reached for my notes only to discover to my horror that there were large holes in them. I turned my attention to Bookworm who was rocking back and forth with his hands behind his back and whistling while looking up at the ceiling.
Bookworm: I'm sorry, Verbie. I sort of got hungry - hungry for some information to digest! What can I say? I must be one of those bibliobibuli.
Sister Superlative: Hold the phone just one second there, learned fellas. H.R.H. the Queen of ReNouns asked me stop by and have a look at a couple of these strange words of yours. I be Sister Superlative, novice in the Order of the Little Sisters of the Admirable Adverbs and Adjectives, at your service. Firstly, I will defer to Queen ReNouns's opinion of that biblio word, and I will attach to it the superlatives Latin, arcane, and one big mouthful. So there. Get down.

Moreover, I am agreeing with Verbie's assessment of the word "revalance." I mean, what else it could be? Of course, it's a window treatment -- in all its flowing, custom fitted, geometrically configured glory. Could be new, could be second-hand. Don't make no never-mind, it still be new to you, which means you be re-valancing. Get back.
I shrugged my shoulders. What else could I do? I called for the meeting to end for today. I told the crew as they were filing out of the Verbicidal Tendencies boardroom that we would reconvene at another time to discuss some of the troubling words that are on the web.

No.15

2 comments:

Hale McKay said...

Welcome, Sister Superlative. You will be offering a spirited and feisty view of the oddities and errata of our English-speak.

Serena Joy said...

I didn't realize the good Sister was making her debut today, but thank you.:)