Monday, January 29, 2007

OH, MAN! Would I like to be a man for a day? Sure. I’d like to walk a mile in my husband’s Nikes if it would help me understand the male species. However, I’d ask directions if I got lost. Men are physically stronger, faster and have less body fat; but what I envy most about men is their clothes. I would love to be able to change my shirt and have the result be considered a different outfit. Men don’t appreciate the advantages they have. They don’t appreciate shaving, but they should. It removes the top layer of facial skin before it turns to wrinkles. Women need laser surgery or a chemical peel to get the same result. Men don’t have to fight for equal pay with women. Unfortunately, women in their struggle to get through the glass ceiling (and to sweep up the broken glass) have managed to gain equal rights with men to stress-related heart disease. There’s an equal rights bumper sticker that reads, “A woman’s place is in the house…and the senate”. Life has qualified us for these positions. In our everyday lives we solve problems regarding, health, transportation, education and more – and all within the family budget. Several years ago the men in my family gave me a license plate frame that read, “The best man for the job is a woman”. I thought this was an amusingly stimulating thought – until one day when I was getting into my car in the library parking lot. A man passing by read my license plate frame and started yelling obscenities at me. When I drove out of the parking lot, he followed me in his car for several blocks, continuing to yell obscenities out his car window. Because I had seen this man carrying library books to his car, I assumed he could read; and if he could read, I assumed he had been educated. Obviously, not educated enough. It’s no longer a man’s world. Stewardesses are now called flight attendants. Actresses are referred to as actors. Soon a mentor will be called a peopletor. If a man continues to expect his home to be his castle, he should expect the Tidy Bowl man to be sailing his little boat in the king’s throne. If a man thinks his dog is his best friend, he must have a dog that cooks, cleans and watches football. Although I like new experiences and challenges, one day as a man would be enough for me. After all, it didn’t take God that long to decide to improve man by making woman. I feel better. Thank you!
SLANG IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD My grandmother thought slang should be a four-letter word. She said slang shouldn’t be in the dictionary because it infects our language. Yes, this is the same grandmother who said I should look up words I don’t know; but if she knew how much slang has been slung into the dictionary, there would be words she wouldn’t want me to know. “He goes”, “She goes”, “They go”; but no one goes anywhere. Because enough people used the word goes incorrectly for a long enough period of time, the goes that means says goes into Webster’s Dictionary - and there goes the language. When I wasn’t looking, the adjective “pretty” morphed itself into a noun, a verb AND an adverb; and they all snuck into the dictionary. Pretty is as pretty does –noun. Pretty yourself up – verb. Pretty soon – adverb. If people were more careful how they used words, pretty would still be just another pretty word. Mad originally meant insane; but because of common usage its meaning was demoted to angry. The word mad is like a car alarm. People hear it, but they don’t pay attention to it. If someone tells you he’s mad, it’s no big deal. He’s just angry, He’s not going into an insane asylum. The word “very” isn’t slang and it isn’t used incorrectly. It’s just been used so much it’s worn out - it’s become hackneyed. Very big, very small, very old, very – unnecessary. If an adjective isn’t preceded by the adverb very, it’s like a retired boxer. It’s lost its punch. Colossal sounds much bigger than very big. Minuscule sounds smaller than very small; and although antiquated means very old, it sounds older. ”Have a nice day” is an example of a hackneyed expression. It’s a nice thought, but it’s been used so much it’s become a synonym for good bye. It’s lost its niceness. “Just a second” is not only a hackneyed expression, it’s also a highly improbable one. Who can do anything in just a second? Saying “Just a minute” may be improbable too, but you’re sixty times more likely to be accurate. Accuracy is in the dictionary, but unfortunately it’s slipping out of our language. Nevertheless, there is a good word about words. Not all illegitimate words have been legitimized by Webster’s Dictionary. My 2002 edition defines postal as relating to mail or post offices. It does NOT define it as relating to someone who has gone suddenly and unexplainably crazy. That definition of postal is common usage. It’s not a new word. A coined word is a new word and I have coined one. I want my word to replace the word “unbelievable”. If you are...

Knight Pierce Hirst

I may be the only writer who has moved to Los Angeles for the weather.

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