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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: affluenza, dialect, , DUI, English, etymology, , , Pluto, , truthiness, Word of the Year, words   


    Good question — and one we rarely hear nowadays. According to wordorigins.org, the title question “was popular back in the 40s and 50s but, like so many other things, it was obliterated by the 60s.” I bring this up now because, as it happens, the annual conference (Jan 7-10) of the American Dialect Society is shutting down (and up) today, and is announcing the 2015 Word of the Year. Here are the winners for the past decade:

    2005 – truthiness  2010 – app
    2006 – plutoed       2011 – occupy
    2007 – subprime    2012 – hashtag
    2008 – bailout        2013 – because
    2009 – tweet           2014 – #blacklivesmatter

    Speaking of American Dialect (or any other English language dialect) reminds me of what eminent Professor Henry Higgins had to say about it:

    Looking over those past Word of the Year winners, the one that, for me, caused pause was 2006’s “plutoed” — until I remembered that Pluto was down-graded by astronomers from a planet to a dwarf planet, or plutoid. Prediction: the 2016 Word of the Year winner will be “trumpoed,” in the expectation that planet Trump will be found to be little more than a gaseous bag of hot air, or trumpoid.

    But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. My nomination for 2015 Word of the Year is “affluenza,” the social disease (diagnosed as such by eminent shrinkologist, Dr. Don Frankel) which results from being spoiled by affluent parents who raise their kids in a values-vacuum….as in the case of the 16-year old who killed four people while DUI and was put on probation instead of being spanked….and then left the country with the help of his momma. I know — it’s not funny. It’s serious business….as if humor has no business being serious, even if it makes one think.

    If you (or some other brilliant person) were to ask me, I think I’d propose a sub-category for Humorous Word of the Year (not that some previous Word of the Year winners lacked humor, like 2005’s truthiness). Surely, my fellow nasal gazers, you don’t doubt that such words as booger would have been worthy contenders in the past….not to mention weenie, kumquat and odiferous.

    Speaking of reeking of serious humor, I nominate the class noun “etymology” for the proverbial last word :

    Online Etymology Dictionary – humor



    • ladysighs 9:43 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m still stuck in the 1900s. 😦 Don’t even recognize English anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:26 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise. I’m still stuck in the 1900s too (the mid-1900s). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • ladysighs 11:36 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink

          I know I’ll never see mid 2000.
          I have begun scheduling my posts …. just in case…. 😦
          I think I’ll schedule a few for Aug. 8, 2040. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 11:02 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Affluenza it is, Sr. Muse, especially since “trump” was already a word long before the Donald arose to plague us.


    • mistermuse 11:47 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If Republicans don’t come to their senses before giving America their choice for next President, the 2016 Word of the Year may be “DONkey-konged.” 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:14 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Ladysighs, I’m beginning to doubt that the WORLD will see mid 2000….but if it does, I hope it appreciates what you’re scheduling. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia Jobin 12:24 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Is “awesome” dead yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      • rielyn 1:16 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Awesome is totally not dead! In fact, if you think something is really awesome you can call it “awesomesauce”. I thought I was more qualified to answer this than my dad (mistermuse) since he does not speak 80’s or internet speak. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • literaryeyes 4:53 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Awesome is still in vogue, as are cool and dope.


    • mistermuse 3:54 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for coming to my rescue, My Fair Lady (& daughter) — after all, if Sir Galahad could save maidens in distress, why shouldn’t a fair maiden save a latter-day Sir Galahad (mistermuse)?
      Awesomesauce! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 9:45 am on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Well I vote for affluenza as well since Dr. Don is a close personal friend of mine.

      I do believe that Mr. Higgins would figure out where I was from in about 3 words or less.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:46 am on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’d like to see Higgins figure out where Helen Keller was from! (Harpo Marx too, though he could speak – just not on film.) 🙂


    • literaryeyes 4:55 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Because? Was I “totally” asleep in 2013? Whatever happened to “whatever”?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:51 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Beats me. I don’t recall the word “because” being cool in 2013….maybe “because” I’ve been too old to know what’s cool since about 1960. Whatever.


    • moorezart 5:34 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:55 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you very much. I should do some re-blogging myself, but I’m not cool enough technology-wise to know how to do it.


    • Don Frankel 8:55 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If my feeble memory serves me right, I do believe that Harpo said a word once. It was at the end of a scene or the whole movie. I could be wrong.


    • mistermuse 10:26 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      According to Wikipedia, Harpo only “spoke” once on film, and that was in a silent movie in 1925 in which the audience saw his lips move and saw the words on a title card.

      I’m glad you made me curious enough to check it out, Don, because I didn’t know that.


    • scifihammy 8:22 am on January 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love words – and like Affluenza! 🙂
      But I do have a bit of a problem with American English – because, as Henry Higgins says, “In America they haven’t used it (English) in years!” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:08 am on January 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love that scene in MY FAIR LADY – in fact, the whole movie is great (though I haven’t seen it in years)! 🙂


    • hooklineandinkwell 6:03 pm on January 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is grade A writing…okay, it’s A++..one of the benefits of living in a remote fishing village in Newfoundland, is that we still use words and phrases that were brought here some four hundred years ago, though we’ve managed to learn a few new ones 🙂 I love the words you have selected and I hope for America’s (and the world’s) sake, that Trumpoed will come to refer to any politician who is run out off the planet – perhaps used in place of monkeys they senftinto space during test flights. Do they still do that?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:56 pm on January 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, F. T. American politics has gotten so screwed up that it’s like the proverbial inmates running the asylum, and too many voters want simplistic answers to intractable problems of which they themselves are often the cause. We’ve been down this road before with “My way or the highway” attitudes, but not this far down in a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hooklineandinkwell 4:01 am on January 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        You are welcome, mistermuse. Ain’t this the truth!

        Liked by 1 person

    • RMW 12:19 pm on January 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting that “bailout” followed “subprime”…. we never learn from our mistakes… at least the financial institutions don’t. I have a rather mixed accent which seems to change with the time of day… and watching the video clip reminded me of the time a self-described linguist was adamant that I was from Brooklyn… he would not believe the origin of my accent was England! Most people guess Boston or Australia… don’t ask!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:45 pm on January 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      RWW, I’m sure you’re lovable in any language….or accent! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Outlier Babe 11:06 am on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Peachy post!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:55 pm on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Kumquaty too! 🙂


  • mistermuse 4:53 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love of writing, , , , , words, writer quotes, ,   


    There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
    –Ernest Hemingway 

    Before becoming an internet blogger several years ago, I had been a much-published “typewriter” poet and writer for over twenty years in various literary journals and magazines….yet I don’t recall ever being asked why I write. Perhaps the motivation is obvious. I write because I’m a writer — writing is in my blood. The reason I write is akin to the answer Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) gave Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in CASABLANCA: We might as well question why we breathe.

    This is not to say that everyone who writes is a writer who must write. Just as there are all kinds of people, there are all kinds of writers with all kinds of agendas, many of whom (from a passion standpoint) appear more agenda-driven than writing-driven….and that’s all well and good, though I’m not sure you can have it both ways and call yourself a creative writer. It seems to me that anyone who doesn’t love writing for its own sake is not on the same page as a creative writer….and it seems that I am not alone in that opinion:

    A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
    –Maya Angelou

    The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. –Mark Twain

    We live and breathe words. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world….  –Cassandra Clare

    Fantasy is hardly an excape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
    –Lloyd Alexander

    There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.  —Oscar Wilde

    Or maybe that isn’t all. There are many more quotes from writers worth repeating, and I expect I’ll be repeating some of them sometime soon.

  • mistermuse 3:05 pm on February 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: axioms, expressions, , , lightbulbs, , , , Seeing is believing, , , turnips, , words   


    Time once again for another exciting episode of SO THEY SAY, so let’s get back to where Part Two left off, and continue putting the right slant on some questionable old axioms. My readers deserve nothing less, because….well, they just don’t.


    The best things in life are free.
    Nevertheless, donations are acccepted for this and all previous and future posts.

    She will talk to a wooden Indian.
    That’s why I keep a wooden Indian around the house.

    You can’t get blood out of a turnip.
    Try praying harder.

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
    Try praying harder, but only for small turnips. If they fall hard enough, the big turnips should bleed on their own.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
    Or, you could pay your electric bill or replace that burned-out bulb.

    Six of one, half dozen of another.
    The correct Jeopardy! answer is: How many Ricardos and Dons does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Seeing is believing.
    How true. I see much better now, after turning on the candle in the light socket.

    She can’t help being ugly, but she could’ve stayed home.
    Maybe she had to run out and buy a thesaurus.

    There’s no fool like an old fool.
    I prefer to think of it as being special.

    Say what you mean and mean what you say.
    But don’t be mean when you say it.

    • arekhill1 11:17 am on February 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Are you just checking if I’m reading, Sr. Muse? As a writer, I am capable of changing a lightbulb by myself, but only after it goes on an emotional journey.


    • Don Frankel 4:46 pm on February 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Since it takes 12 government employees to change a light bulb you can have both of us. Then you might need a few others as the 12 government employees would have a meeting to change the light bulb. That would not necessarily get the bulb changed. In which case you might be sitting in the dark until you lit a candle or hired a private contractor to change the light bulb.


    • mistermuse 5:01 pm on February 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ricardo, would I ever doubt your loyalty? (Don’t answer that).

      Actually, you and Don were the unfortunate victims of desperation on my part with regard to “Six of one, half dozen of another.” Rejoinders to the other axioms came to me fairly readily, but try as I may, that one had me stumped until I thought of the old joke about how many Polacks does it take to change a lightbulb?

      Apologies to you, Don and any Polacks who may be tuned in.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:03 am on February 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I accept your apology since I knew you were jesting. My brother called me a “Polack,” and I was upset. Of course, he was in his cups and he is Polish, too. I enjoyed your revisions of these common mottoes or cliches. Please include me in future bulb changing episodes as I am not as sensitive as others can be and not easily offended. Funny stuff mistermuse. I always enjoy your writing. 🙂


    • mistermuse 4:48 pm on February 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Michaeline. I was almost hoping that you wouldn’t see my “Polack” explanation, as I remembered that you’re part Polish, and I didn’t want to offend, though I agree it shouldn’t offend. There are lots of jokes about drunken Irishmen, for example, but I’m not sensitive about them although I’m part Irish. Maybe it’s because Irishmen can laugh at themselves.


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