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 ____."