Monday, April 5, 2010

A Word to the Wiseguy

It all started a couple of weeks ago, as we were walking out of class.  One of my Institute students asked  me, "Have you ever heard of 'thesaurus.com'?  I think you'd really like it."

Just like that.  Out of the blue. 

And of course, being the super confident, not-insecure-at-all gal that I am, I said, "Why do you say that?  Is it because I used more 'umms' in one lesson today than a monk uses in an entire pilgrimage to the Great Chant Houses of Tibet?  Cuz if so, you should know, I was just having an off day."

Sheesh.  So what if I spent ninety minutes searching for another word for "meeting," which was the word I was trying to avoid.  Suddenly I need a, whaddyacallit, you know, those books you use when you can't think of the right lettery thingie?  Fusspot Institute students.  Getting all judgy of their ... um ... that person who teach -- teacher.  Their teacher.  See?  It comes to me eventually.

Besides, I know loads of words.  Go ahead.  Ask me a word.  I'll totally know it. 

"Muffin."  Yep.  I know that one.  "Gorilla."  Uh-huh.  I've known that one for months.  "Shut up."  I'm so wordy I know that's actually two words.  And they happen to be the first two words I ever spoke.  No lie.  That's how much I don't need thesaurus.com, thankyouverymuch.

In fact, not only do I not need that dumb old ... computer dealio, sounds like a spider housing project ... I have developed a thesaurus of my own, based on my vast experience with entire pages of the dictionary, as well as raising kids, teaching classes, and talking my way out of speeding tickets. 

(I just don't understand why it's such a crime to do 50 mph past a middle school if all the kids are on spring break at the time.  To my way of thinking, running over a kid too dumb to avoid the school over spring break is my contribution to natural selection.)

So, once again demonstrating what a giver I am, I offer a few ... you know, those words that mean the same things as other words.  And these are useful in the real world, not that fancy-pants world inhabited by folks who eat brie and know that you can say "gathering" instead of "meeting."

*FAVOR (v)  Synonymous with assault; torture; induce seizures in. 

ex.  "Larkelle McCanary will now ___ us with a performance of 'O Divine Redeemer.'  Free counseling will be provided after the service."

*PRACTICE (v)  Synonyms include ignore; spit on; take a flame thrower to.

ex.  "Yes, Miz DeNae.  I certainly did ___ the piano this week.  Which is why my performance at today's lesson sounded like an accordian trapped in an industrial wood chipper."  

*CLEAN (adj)  disgusting; a threat to national security; a veritable petri dish of unmentionable terrors.

ex.  "Hey, mom.  My room's ___."

*YES   Synonomous with no; I hate you for bringing it up; I've decided to work as a car wash attendant for the rest of my life.

ex.  "Have you finished your homework?"         "____."

*NO    Not to be confused with the 'no' synonym to 'yes' above, this "NO" means of course; I live in a time frame of 3 1/2 seconds in any direction and therefore have no memory and no foresight; I didn't want to set an unhealthy precedent.

ex.  "Son, did you forget to put the milk away last night / fail to refill the gas tank / leave your sister at the bus stop for three hours when you expressly assured us you would pick her up if we let you take the car to Taco Bell?"        "____."

*FINE  (adj)  This is my least favorite word of all time.  It means fat; in need of a Stacy and Clinton overhaul; like someone who will spend the next 45 minutes trying on everything in her closet, re-doing her hair, and declaring all 12,000 shoes she owns unfit for human feet, thereby making us late to dinner with my boss and shaving a good eight years off my life.

ex.  "Let's go already.  You look ____."

And last but not ... um ... first,

*STUDENT  (n)  individual who had darn well better write the most well-conceived, thoroughly accurate, spiritually edifying and religiously indisputable final paper on Isaiah ever composed or so help me, they'll have to invent new words for the epic 'F' they'll find on their Institute report card this semester.

ex.  "Have you met Daniel Webster McSassypants?  He's my favorite ____."

42 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I am coming to you for all my synonym needs from now on.

Christine Macdonald said...

Brilliant! :)

Karen said...

Can I hang out in your brain for just, like, an hour?

M-Cat said...

The "epic F" my personal favorite.

Kazzy said...

I would love to take an Institute class from you!

And my hubs calls it "thinning the herd". LOL

Braden said...

Hear, hear on the spring break/speed zone. Um, DeNae, not to be judgmental or anything, but where did you get the idea of a sort of glossary post?

Garden of Egan said...

Wow, and I am sitting here thinking about all those stupid classes I took at BYUI that made me think and I could have just hit your blog and gotten all my answers.
Well, I certainly won't attempt to get any further education. You shall now be my "get smart guru"

Was the song really that bad? I'm pretty sure she's in my ward. I'll tell her you said hi.

Cheeseboy said...

Didn't even know you could get an F in institute. I thought they only gave spiritual grades. I guess I should have gone to institute.

Once again, hm... what's a synonym for "brilliant"?

Annette Lyon said...

We need a dictionary and thesaurus written by YOU.

Here's one:
Hit (v), to tap, kick, smack, shove, or otherwise make physical contact with a sibling.

Did you ____ your sister?

See also "No."

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Haha... (wiping tears from my eyes)
That was epic.

aunt dyanne said...

This post is equal to a big Bag/Bottle of "DeNae Serum VII ml" ... my IV had almost run dry. Thanks for the refill !

ileepr

when i get tired, ileepr.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Brilliant!
You know I have been threatening for ages to write my own "dicktionary". You are so inspiring, not only am I going to get to work on it, but I am sure you are going to be asked to be a contributing author.

DeNae said...

Hey, Braden! Where did you learn to leave snarky comments on people's blogs? Have you been GP-ing somewhere or something? (hee hee!)

And FYI, Mr. McSassypants II, I totally came up with this idea DECADES ago. Seriously, I was composing this post in the WOMB!

And besides, if I remember correctly, your version of this was actually USEFUL. So there's absolutely no copyright issue here at all.

AS Amber said...

HahaHaaaha!!! So funny! And so true! The definitions for yes and no especially. And you could not have been more spot-on correct about your definition of "fine". I've always told Tavis that "fine" is a step up from "shitty"

"How do I look?"

"Fine."

"I'll go change."

L.T. Elliot said...

I think those should be published in the thesaurus. Truly. That "no" and "fine" were DEAD on. ;) Dead being the operative word

Lara said...

Favor and practice were my personal favorites.

And I was really hoping that Annette would answer the question of exactly what part of speech "yes" and "no" are. She's slacking!

MommyJ said...

It wasn't too long ago that my oldest child informed my younger children the actual meaning of the frequently used by their mother phrase, "we'll see."

"Give it up, guys. We'll see just means No. She just wants you to be quiet long enough for us to get home so she's hoping 'we'll see' will hold you over."

Way to blow my cover, dude.

lori said...

That was so funny! I would have used a more descriptive word then funny, but thesaurus.com was down.

That Girl said...

Laughing very loudly ....

Except - I LOVE thesaurus.com

Sorry.

Also, I totally wish you taught Institute HERE. We're not THAT far away, after all ...

Rebecca said...

If I were only one tenth as funny as you, I could die happy.

Not that I plan on doing that any time soon, but still.

How do you come up with this stuff? You are brilliant, that's all their is to it!

Love Annette's comment, btw. So true.

Rebecca said...

Oh my gosh, tired brain alert!

I cannot believe I used "their" instead of "there".

I am so ashamed.

Where is that rock? Ok, I'm going to slide under the couch instead.

JBSquared said...

"running over a kid too dumb to avoid the school over spring break is my contribution to natural selection"

Reminds me of a great Simpsons quote: "The irony is, if I killed them, I would be the one to go to jail!"

Have I mentioned you are the best? :)

Melanie J said...

I'm all in favor of doing anything that culls the herd. Our districts have spring break right now. Time to trawl the school zones looking for dummies. . .

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Girl, you are beyond brilliant! I bow to your superior vocabulary. :-)

Jessica said...

Loved it! They put new words in the dictionary every year. I'm sure they could just change a few of the definitions so that they are correct this year.

annie valentine said...

Why didn't I realize there was an online thesaurus? Do you know how many times I open WORD so I can find something more inspiring than "meeting" to post on my blog? I am a search engine idiot.

Um, I keep trying to convince some of my friends that we need to make a trip to Vegas this summer, get a hotel, and find tickets to Let's Make a Deal with Wayne. Don't you think that sounds like the best idea ever? Would you please try to encourage my friends?

Just ME the MOM said...

Thank you once again for waking up my household at 2 am as they can't figure out why I'm lying on the floor and gasping for breath!

Kristin

JennyMac said...

my favorite? FAVOR...Love it.

JennyMac said...

ummm..where is my comment? I will do you the FAVOR of leaving another. LOL.

Favor..LOVED that use.

Beka said...

Heeheeheehee! Natural selection... Still chuckling!

And "clean"-- so true!

Linda said...

Yes I have one of those speeding tickets in a school zone. I was rushing my kids to PIANO lessons. No joke. I should charge the teacher for that.

Mark said...

Hey...love your blog! I'm an LDS Church employee, led to it by someone writing to the Church because of your recent post "which-shall-go-unnamed-because-comments-have-finally-had-to be-turned-off" but love your stuff (AND your politics! [Whatever they are!])

deb said...

DeNae,
I haven't read this post, new here, but I wanted to tell you that I so so loved what you wrote on the no "I" in church comments, the link from Heather of the EO.

beautiful

Connie said...

So glad I found your blog.
I had hear rumors - comment, cry, dispatch, earful, fabrication, falsehood, fame, fiction, gossip, grapevine, hearsay, invention, lie, news, notoriety, report, repute, rumble, scandal, scuttlebutt, tale, tidings, whisper, wire, word - of your blog and it's everything that it was cracked up to be!

You have a gift and I'm envious! No, I mean I'm impressed. (Don't want to be prideful or lack charity)

charrette said...

AAAH! I miss you. (Because of course I LOVE you!)
Thank you for making my day. (And I loved every word of the comments you left on Heather's Life As A Highway blog.)

So just dropping in to say hi (and cheer wildly).

Lindzena said...

Ha, first time I've come across your blog, and it surely made me laugh. I like how you have taken to redefining words; I myself tend to just invent my own words on the fly. Rather than a thesaurus I've debated coming up with my own dictionary. Institute is my favorite thing ever, by the way. Glad to know that it's in Vegas too. :)

charrette said...

Oh, and the other thing that cracks me up about this post? If a student said that to me (about Thesaurus.com), I totally would have said, "No, but I'd love to check it out. Send me a link -- I LOVE words!"

And I would have been totally oblivious to the fact that they probably meant it as a slam...

You are hilarious.

Lucy said...

I like your blog. I've stalked it for sometime now. So that must mean that I'm now kind of "out of the closet"? Anyway....:)

Garden of Egan said...

Hey, I was in Vegas on Tuesday.
I looked for you.
You must not hang out at the strip.

uggclogs said...

No way. Those were your first words?

rebecca said...

I think I'm throwing out my Thesaurus and coming here instead to find the meanings. Like your words way better! LOL!

You are funny. And Ima follow... there you go, another word for your book "Ima."

Sue said...

I never used a thesaurus in my life until I hit menopause. Now, it's my best friend. Where the heck did my word recall go?

Funny post.

=)