How cold is it?

Penguin Shit
Credit: joyreactor.com

“Colder than a witch’s tit,
Colder than a bucket of penguin shit,
Colder than a hair on a polar bear’s ass
Colder than the frost on a champagne glass.”

— Thomas Pynchon
from Gravity’s Rainbow

“Have you see the Sasquatch yet?”

Sasquatch

 
“Not Yeti. But I did hear the Abdominal Snowman rumbling by.”

No trifling with trifle.

English trifle dessert
English trifle.

Let’s consider the word trifle.

As a noun it can be either “an English dessert made of layers of custard, fruit, and sponge cake” [1] or “a thing of little value or importance.” [2]

As a verb, trifle means, “treat (someone or something) without seriousness or respect.” [2]

Now I don’t know about you, but dessert is pretty darn important to me, so I will leave you with this admonishment:

Trifle is not to be trifled with.

Green olives may be trifled with.
You may, however, feel free to trifle with cream cheese and green olive sandwiches. But maybe that’s just me. [3]


[1] Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trifle.

[2] Google: https://www.google.com/search.

[3] See The Olive Sandwich Incident to learn why I seriously disrespect this form of so-called “food.”

Absurdity in the checkout lane.

You can liven up a trip to the store considerably – and create some mental images you may never be able to get out of your brain – if, as you walk through the store, you ask yourself:

What three things should never be on the checkout lane at the same time? *

plunger, bowling ball, vaseline
A bowling ball, a plunger, and Vaseline.
Wine, shotgun shells, and tampons
Wine, shotgun shells, and tampons.
 
Cornflakes, underwear, and mazola oil.
Cornflakes, underwear, and Mazola oil.

Let your creativity flow! Bonus points if you check out with #threethings and the clerk gives you a funny look.

* Note: Rubber gloves are always funny.

#snowpocalypse

Snow PanicThe weather forecasters are calling for a chance of snow.

Just in case you’re not from around here, this is the southern equivalent to yelling, “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater.

If you haven’t already gone to the grocery store, there’s no point in going now. Hordes of panicked shoppers have already descended on the stores and emptied the shelves of all the basics: bread, milk, eggs, toilet paper, corn flakes, Mazola oil, rubber gloves.

You know who these people are, so if you need anything, you can always go borrow it from them.

When the opposite of a word…isn’t.

illustrations are good.Why do the words flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?

The dictionary at reference.com indicates that both words mean:

“easily set on fire; combustible.”

The prefix in- means not. The word roots section on membean.com says so. The page even has a cute little interactive tree with examples.

Call me crazy, but is seems to me that having two words that ought to have opposite meanings but don’t is just asking for trouble.

“Dude! That truck has a sign that says it’s inflammable!
Hold my beer and watch this!”

hold my beer and watch this!
Not a good thing, unless you’re trying for a Darwin Award.

Why do some words sound like what they mean and others don’t?

The cow says moo.An onomatopoeia is a word “which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described….” [1]

Bees buzz, cows moo, horses whinny, etc.

However, there are some words that sound so much not like what they mean that you can get yourself in trouble using them.

For instance, the word pulchritudinous sounds more like the symptom of an infectious disease than a compliment. If you say:

pulchritudinous.
 
“My, what a pulchritudinous woman you are!”

to your date, chances are you’re going to get slapped – even though you shouldn’t. Pulchritudinous actually means:

“having great physical beauty.” [2]

Huh? Who, how, and why, we ask ourselves, would someone come up with such an ugly-sounding word to describe beauty?

Inquiring minds want to know. [3]


[1] Source: literarydevices.net.

[2] I suggest you tell anyone you’re going to describe as “pulchritudinous” what the word means before you use it.
Source: vocabulary.com.

[3] And did he ever have a date?

An appropriate response to surreptitious surveillance.

Have you ever checked out at the grocery store and noticed that the clerk seemed to be paying undo attention to – or made too many comments about – your purchases?

Of course, you can be polite and pretend you don’t notice. Or you can ask the over-attentive clerk:

Toilet Paper
 
“Is this the right amount of toilet paper for this amount of food?”

How to respond when your restaurant server asks you something absurd.

Restaurant Server

Sometimes when a server delivers the food to your table, he asks a question that makes you wonder if you’re supposed to eat the food after that.

I can deal well with, “Is there anything else I can get you?” or even “Does everything look okay?”

The one that finally got to me was:

“Did everything come out okay?”

I turned around to look over my shoulder, turned back, looked the server in the eye, and replied:

“I don’t know; it hasn’t come out yet.”

An idiom both eloquent and evocative.

You don’t have to wait long for someone to say, “Ew, gross!” when something is, well, gross.

That phrase is pedestrian in the extreme. You get the message, but there isn’t anything original or evocative about it.

The next time you see something, gross, try saying,

Vulture
 
“That’s gross enough to puke a buzzard off a gut wagon.”

It’s both eloquent and evocative, and your friends will appreciate your eloquence, if not the mental image you just evoked in their brains.