Tag Archives: overused words

The Pontificator

 

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The Pontificator

His ego is most copious, but alas, also fragile,
for his imagination is something less than agile.
He’s much given to adages that were coined by another:
prolific writers of the past, his preacher or his brother.
He’s not really a plagiarist. He just forgets the fact
that although he might perform it, he didn’t write the act!
His words, all gloss and polish, are lacking in much worth.
They seem to lack a kernel, though provided with much girth.
For all that they sound pretty—refined to a high gloss,
instead of rarest metal, alas, they’re merely dross.

In short, although they’re polished ’til they sparkle, glitter, gleam,
they ramble on without restraint, sadly lacking a theme.

 

The prompt words today are copious, fragile, gloss and theme. Here are the links:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/rdp-monday-copious
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/17/fowc-with-fandango-fragile
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/gloss/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/daily-addictions-2018-week-37/theme

 

Words Pluperfect and Perfidious

A few days ago, I asked you to send me words you hated. Whether ugly in sound or meaning or overused or incorrectly used, you sent me those words you despised and I promised to make a poem out of them. My apologies to Leland, who made the mistake of sending me a few and who thus became the brunt of it all. Let me say that the situation is completely fictional, the fact of which Leland may rue or applaud. The truth of the matter we’ll never know. (In the poem, I’ve italicized the words you have presented to me.)

Words Pluperfect and Perfidious
(Recycled Words)

It’s amazing at the end of day
when there’s so little left to say,
they still go on with “Blah blah blah.”
Like, he goes, “Just saying, that
it’s fucking perfect that that cat
knows how to rhyme and rap and scat.”
What does this mean? Would it kill you
and would fetid cancer fill you
if you just spit the right words out
devoid of swearing, rhyme or shout?

Leland has said that he hates rap,
but then he’s just an ancient chap.
Not “awesome,” as you young folks say.
(That word used less back in the day.)
He thinks his taste pluperfect, but,

I think he doesn’t know quite what
pluperfect really means at all.
(I bet it’s the same with y’all!)
Yet still he’s very, very cool.
Nuh uh. Surely no one’s fool.
He’s pretty gray on top, but then
his uvula’s above the norm––
different to the usual form.
Shaped like one a them argyle socks,
it kicks right forward when he talks.

“Sweet!” the ladies bill and coo.
“As gigolo, we’re choosing you!”
But Leland is just bored of that.
He’d rather sit around and chat.
I’ll kill you!” is what he just knows
his wife would scream if ever he chose
a life that was much different to
the life with her he always knew.
But with the ladies texting him,
and pulling at him shirt and limb,
it is impossible to choose
his old life’s slow dependable ooze
over a life so huge and sweet
with all the new gals he might meet.

Then his wife bellers out “As if!
and waves a fist all coiled and stiff,
suggesting senseless violence
were he to choose pluperfect tense
to describe their perfect marriage
of baking bread and baby carriage.
So his life’s sentence he will parse
sittlng right here on his arse.
Over new love, he will choose
both less and fewer, and drink more booze.

(You can see my solicitation for words HERE.)

Judy’s “Prompt Answers” Challenge #1: Dastardly Words.

Dastardly Words

Because it is a rainy rainy day and too wet, even, to make my way down to my studio, I’m going to recruit your efforts in trying to keep me busy and out of trouble. With this in mind, I’m posting a challenge for you to tell me the word you hate most in the English language. (This challenge was prompted by Helen Miekle’s absolute refusal to answer this question.  To console myself, I’m calling upon friendly bloggers to show me theirs if I show them mine.)  Not really fair, as if you’ve followed me for awhile, you already know that the word I hate most in the world is . . .. Nope, can’t say it.  Instead, I’ll reblog this poem I wrote about it a few years ago:

img_2272This is!!!!


Empty Praise

There was a time when awesome really meant ”inspiring awe”—
events like the moon landing that made one drop one’s jaw,
sights of numbing beauty or achievements of great skill,
art pieces by the masters or achievements of great will.

Yosemite is awesome and so is Everest.
Those climbing it are awesome.You know they are the best.
But today the word has fallen into widespread use—
ubiquitous right to the point where it’s become abuse.

Rap music is most awesome, as is that way-cool blouse.
You drive an awesome car and live inside an awesome house.
My friend’s boyfriend is awesome. So are her dog and cat.
Her garden blooms are awesome, like her new purse and her hat.

You might have guessed by now that awesome’s not my favorite word.
I think the overuse of it is frankly quite absurd.
This pizza is not awesome, though you may find me petty
for saying it is merely good, and so is the spaghetti.

Your child is lovely, so’s your dress, your silverware and smile.
But none of them are awesome—that word brings up my bile.
Please use some other word for it—some adjectival jaw full.
Because in my opinion, using awesome’s simply awful!!

 

img_6979This isn’t!!!!

So now that I’ve told you mine, please participate in this challenge in one of two ways. Either post your answer in your own blog with a link to this post and a link to your blog in my comments section, or simply answer in the comments section of this blog posting. It won’t take long, so please participate and if I receive enough words, I promise to make a poem out of them.

Update: I’ve written the poem! You can see it HERE.

The Time to Be Good

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The Time to Be Good

In a study by Oxford Online, associated with the Oxford English Dictionary, “the” was found to be the most frequently used word in the English language and each of the other words in my title was the most common word in the English language for its part of speech. It is no surprise to me that the word “the” heads the list. “The creates specificity. It helps us to define and narrow the field. It wins us precisely what we want. Ours is an era of so many choices––a plethora of brands of everything from potato chips to lipstick. Don’t even get me started on coffee. Starbucks alone maintains that it offers 87,000 combinations of coffee choices! Reason enough to need a bit of “the” in our vocabulary. Plain coffee Americano decaf with soy milk and stevia? That is “the” choice I make every time.

“To” is indicative, I think, of our modern need to be elsewhere. A Ted Talk that I recently viewed showed a video that depicted all of the airplane flights occurring simultaneously, then all of the ships enroute. If it had tried to depict commuter traffic, I’m not so sure that much of the U.S. would have been lit up, rendering any distinction between vehicles or routes to be impossible to make out. We drive to work, to play, to school, to recreational facilities. Then on the weekends we drive elsewhere to “escape,” but in doing so, are trapped in more traffic. In airports, we watch people coming off a plane to come “to” where we are as we await the opportunity to board the same plane to go “to” where they just came from. We are almost constantly going “to.”

I was surprised that “time” is the most commonly used noun in the English language, mainly because, with all of our labor saving devices, somehow we have less time rather than more. If someone disagrees, please, please inform me of how you have managed this. I no longer even have time to read unless I listen to an audiobook and combine my reading with other activities such as driving, working in the studio or kitchen or while trying to fall asleep at night.

So why is the word “time” so frequently used? As I tried to figure out why, a number of phrases I’ve used in the past 24 hours swam into memory. While preparing to leave for two months at the beach, I have almost constantly worried about not having “time” to arrange for everything I needed to arrange for in order to leave on “time.” I won’t bore you with the list, but it is long and varied and has kept me so busy for the past two weeks that I found my “time” had run out last night. I was due to leave this morning, but had not found time to say good bye to best friends, let alone time enough to write this blog and finish packing. So I delayed my departure by a day in order to gain “time” to depart in a more leisurely fashion. I made “time” for things important to me, such as this essay I am writing right now and the possibility of saying good bye to friends such as Audrey, whom I haven’t seen for weeks because neither of us has had the “time.” Perhaps it is our complaints of having so little of it that cause us to overuse the word?

The most commonly used words that I am most heartened by are best when combined. “Be good.” What better advice for each of us and what message is most needed in a world of cyber shaming, corporate greed, Isis and the seeming impossibility of gun control, let alone control over the kids and crazies who refuse to exercise control? It is a selfish world we live in. “Be” is too often considered in regard to only ourselves. But “good?” It seems to be an aim that more and more of us yearn for—hoping to combine it with “be” in order to restore sanity and love and caring for our fellow human beings––whatever their skin color or religion or social group or national background.

Perhaps in our choice of most commonly used words, be they conscious or unconscious, we are all sending ourselves a message. Like a crossword puzzle, we just need to combine them in the right way. It truly is the time to be good!!!

(If you’d like to see other most commonly used words, go HERE.)

The Prompt: Morphing—Language evolves. The meaning of a word can shift over time as we use it differently—think of “cool,” “heavy,” or even “literally.”Today, give a word an evolutionary push: give a common word a new meaning, explain it to us, and use it in the title of your post.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/morphing/

Empty Praise

 

Empty Praise

There was a time when awesome really meant ”inspiring awe”—
events like the moon landing that made one drop one’s jaw,
sights of numbing beauty or achievements of great skill,
art pieces by the masters or achievements of great will.

Yosemite is awesome and so is Everest.
Those climbing it are “awesome.” You know they are the best.
But today the word has fallen into widespread use—
ubiquitous right to the point where it’s become abuse.

Rap music is most awesome, as is that way-cool blouse.
You drive an awesome car and live inside an awesome house.
My neighbor’s beau is awesome. So are her dog and cat.
Her garden blooms are awesome, like her new purse and her hat.

You might have guessed by now that awesome’s not my favorite word.
I think the overuse of it is frankly quite absurd.
This pizza is not awesome, though you may find me petty
for saying it is merely good, and so is the spaghetti.

Your child is lovely, so’s your dress, your silverware and smile.
But none of them are awesome—that word brings up my bile.
Please use some other word for it—some adjectival jaw full.
Because in my opinion, using awesome’s simply awful!!

Daily Post:The prompt today was “Verbal Ticks.” Is there a word or a phrase you use (or overuse) all the time, and are seemingly unable to get rid of? If not, what’s the one that drives you crazy when others use it?http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/verbal-ticks/