3/07/2008

Vocabulary Builder I -- Words Are Mean Things

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Verbicidal Tendencies is honored to run this delightful piece by Skunkfeathers. It's wickedly funny and we know there's going to be a lot of beverage spewing and wet pants, so go to the bathroom now and grab some paper towels on your way back to your computer.
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*Note: I ran a series of tongue-in-cheek vocabulary "builders" while writing for a newspaper back in '96-'00. I am condensing them, in my subjective opinion, to a 'best of the worst' from that series, with some updating included. You decide how my subjective opinionater thingee was workin' hyar...*
Early in my writing career, or so I dare fancy it, I found it timely to help many of you with what I'm sure was achieving one of your high-priorities in the New Year: tax evasion.

Just kidding, depending on who gets the White House.

Time marches on. Just as 2007 gave way to 2008, so too must we all further and refresh our education. Top on that list is the maintenance and expansion of our lexicological repertoire. With over 300,000 words in the current English language, and more being added yearly, this becomes more encumbent.

As with other lesser comparable excursions into the abyss of our linguistic heritage -- such as that practically unknowd publication, Reader's Digest and their substandard Word Power segment -- each of the following words is accompanied by several definitional choices. One is probably correct. More than one may be correct. Theoretically, all three may be correct. Or not. Depending on your level of educational and/or imaginative development, perhaps none of the three will be correct. You may have a sense of humor comparable to that of sheet rock or a door knob, and wonder why anyone would waste precious space and print on this silly exercise. You may wish to form a coalition of like-minded citizens to campaign against the outrageous behavior of this blogger, who seems to have the temerity to think that he can present something irreverent as educational, in a faux-funny format. You may even go so far as to petition for a constitutional amendment on your state's next election ballot, to prohibit such material from ever appearing in a publicly accessible format, ever again.

For the rest of you, enjoy the following exercise. For the few of you remotely akin to the above, piss up a rope:

Tolerant:
- directions on how to get to Lerant
- forbearing
- an ant capable of playing in the NBA

Illiterate:
- "sick" literature
- incapable of reading this (which may not be all that bad..)
- study of litter rates in Illinois

Puerile:
- broth made with limburger cheese
- teasing a skunk
- acting childish

Composure:
- brand name deodorant made from compost
- something difficult to maintain during election cycles
- person that creates music for operas, symphonies, beer commercials, etc.

Graphics:
- redneck giraffes
- anomalies in a graph
- two-dimensional drawing of an object according to mathematical rules of projection

Tai Kwan Do:
- Eastern self-defense and spiritual philosophy that's hard on bricks and boards
- used to make tai kwan bread
- comdominium complex in Taiwan

Wage:
- Ancient Carthaginian unit of measure accounting for age and weight
- what Elmer Fudd goes into evwy time he's outsmarted by that waskily wabbit
- salary or pay

Dominion:
- one of Homer Simpson's friends
- used to make minion rolls
- a governed country or territory

Rarify:
- to make less dense by dying her blonde hair brunette
- lightly cooked meat
- a hard-to-find stereo system

Seamstress:
- a woman who sues after choice three
- a woman that sews
- a size 6 on a size 14 body

Peccadillo:
- exotic cigar made from cucumbers
- a slight offense
- how a chicken eats a pickle

Prohibit:
- a trained, professional hibit
- not allow to do something, go somewhere, etc
- professional frog caller

Exhibit:
- a former hibit
- a display
- an unknown hibit

Inhibit:
- warning of an incoming hibit
- a trendy hibit
- self-conscious self-restraint

Baguette:
- French for "a narrow loaf"
- French for "call it le day"
- French for "wave ze white flag"

Barysphere:
- what one does with a time capsule
- the dense interior of the Earth
- Dave Barry phobia

Barroom:
- a flying broom with cocktail service
- an elephant passing gas
- a saloon

Blowfish:
- Hootie and the
- I know what you're thinking, you sick puppy
- a fish that inflates when it senses a threat...like the previous

Buggery:
- being a real pest
- a carriage emporium
- slang for sexual backdooring

Catachresis:
- a process of distilling spirits
- a misuse of words
- aka, this whole entry

Dilettante:
- a 900 number dedicated to taunting the caller
- a substandard pickle
- amateurish, not thorough

Extramundane:
- really bland
- supernatural
- Scooby Do on Prozac

Flotilla:
- a seaworthy Dorito
- small fleet of ships
- a runny tortilla

Groin:
- groin..groin..gone...*rimshot or ducking throwd items*
- getting bigger
- physical depression between the belly and the thigh

Ignis Fatuus:
- Latin for "foolish fire"
- Latin for "lighting flatulence"
- Latin for "make mine well done"

Meander:
- Redneck for "me an' th' missus"
- wander at random
- random wondering

Node:
- a point of zero current or voltage
- something he or she orta
- when both parents turn you down, you know you been

Predict:
- first draft of an edict
- foretell
- screwed before you get started

Noel:
- Coward
- the Christmas season
- a word with a politician in it: it has an "L", while saying it doesn't...

If you thought that was bad, wait'll you see Part II...

5 comments:

Hale McKay said...

Skunkfeathers,

Now this is what Verbicidal Tendencies is all about.

Thank you for giving us permission to use your excellent post on your lexiconic word studies.

Skunkfeathers said...

Hale & Serena,

Anytime ;) This has actually inspired me to start pondering Part IV.

Is that the Apocalypse on the hoo-rizon?

Serena Joy said...

If that's the Apocalypse looming, SF, bring it on. We plan to nab Parts II and III and are nigh salivating at the prospect of a Part IV.:D

Skunkfeathers said...

Serena: bad news to speed along the Apocalypse: Part IV is done, and set to run on April 1. We might as well go out laughing...or wincing... ;)

Serena Joy said...

April 1 sounds like the perfect launch date. I'll be standing by in the bunker, waiting with bated breath.:)