Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pianissimo Famine (microfiction)

Pianissimo Famine

"I'm a little tired of this macrobiotic library of comestibles," Nat said cautiously as he poured Serena a glass of Gewurztraminer wine. He was famished after a week of seemingly nothing but her kitchen repertoire of quinoa and lentils. "Can't we have some real food?"

"Real food? Stop nagging. We can take a break from our pianissimo famine, if that's how you think of it. It was only an experiment," said Serena. He could see she was disappointed in him.

"I have an unexplored urge for a seaboard repast," suggested Nat -- though what he really craved was a Big Mac infused with cheese. "With a contemporaneous herring," he added.

"And maybe some portentous sauce to go with it?" Serena said, sarcastically.

"Yes! And a vinaigrette opportunity."

"Fish and a salad..." Serena mused. "You do realize that both can be prepared and consumed without straying from our macrobiotic meal plan?"

"Whatever. Just please include some dessert, honey," said Nat.

"Honey for dessert? I just happen to have a delicious jar of unimaginable local honey," Serena said. "But we'll have to think of something to spread it on."

"Toast?" Nat suggested.

"To us!" Serena said, smiling superciliously as she raised her glass.

Nat realized it was going to be a long and ravenous evening.

[Not to be continued]

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A Grandiloquent Parrot?


I've been reading the novel Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes. It's full of unusual words that I'm compiling into a list. Here they are below, with parts of speech and meanings. I wonder if someone could teach a parrot to say these words?

indurate (verb: harden)

propinquity (noun: proximity, close kinship)

eulogium (noun: eulogy)

orchidaceous (adjective: like an orchid)

ipsophagy (noun [neologism]: the eating of bear meat)

execration (noun form of execrate: to curse, abhor, damn, denounce)

glabrous (adjective hairless)

crepuscular (adjective: dim, like twilight)

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Effervescent Kleptomania (microfiction)

Composer Elias Auchenshuggle was hard at work on "Tangier Bongo", his latest commercial jingle, intended to make snackers hanker after some kind of "psychopathic" (he thought) pre-packaged fondue. The balky synthesizer was giving him trouble, though, as it occasionally spit out random wheezes and burps, like a drunken calliope. Finally, however, the soaring crescendo he was after emerged with kingliest intensification. "Ahh", he whispered. "All I need now is a sample from some old disco diva's middle eight." After much consideration and fiddling with his M-Audio Torq MixLab Digital DJ System, it turned out to be a bouncy quote from "Get Dancin'," by Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes. Elias spliced it in, proud of his effervescent kleptomania, which latterly helped to increase fondue sales by 500 percent -- pleasing his corporate overlords no end.

[not to be continued]

Wandering Word Thoughts: "Oh, you knuckylbonyard!"

"Then my leg fell asleep, so I made ambitious circles with my feet, like a nervous orangutan, to cure my obdormition." (TWITO, page 99) It's a fancy way of saying one of your limbs fell asleep.

Why call someone a knucklehead when you can call him a "knuckylbonyard"? Means the same thing, but you'll get eloquence points.

Here's a conversation starter: Try telling someone they're a "snoutfair" today, and see how that goes. It refers to someone's charming and handsome appearance, with a hint of the devilish.

"floccinaucinihilipilification" (TWITO, page 55) is one of the longest (non-scientific) words in the dictionary. Say it 10 times fast! It means the judgement of something as worthless -- a real nothing -- like, for example, a penny. Almost.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Brobdingnagian Splotch

Jupiter, brobdingnagian gasbag of the solar system, has a gargantuan red spot. And when I say gargantuan, I mean titanic. A few planets, including Earth, could spin within its roiling vortex, which, to me, looks irate. Yes, Zeus is livid, who knows why, but he confines his fury to a single splotch, a hurricane of ire, gigantic to us but a pinwheel to him, while clouds of happier thoughts glide by in serene bands. If only we could all have our own red spot, a mental whirligig to confine our churning agitation to, while peace reigns in the rest of our sphere.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Do We ALL Live in a Yellow Submarine?

Did you hear the appoggiatura in that song? (That's an ornamental note, related melodically to the main note.)

~~~

Are you watching the new Twin Peaks? Lots of gapeseed from Mr. Lynch. (gapeseed = an astonishing sight)

~~~

"Before his morning coffee, Winston was comatose; afterword, he was operose." (TWITO, page 103) To be "operose" is to be industrious.

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A honeypot is not at all sweet! It's a decoy computer server designed to divert hackers.

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You could find Northern Lights in a yellow submarine. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! (Northern Lights is a strain of marijuana, and a "yellow submarine" is slang for a joint.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Word of the Day: Is It a 'Ghoti' or Is It a 'Fish'?

ghoti [fish](noun)

Alternate spelling of "fish"

"'What's this on the menu?’ Jordan asked. 'It says Ghoti.' 'I think they mean fish,' Sheila replied. 'The chef is a bit pretentious.'" (TWITO, page 60)

"Ghoti" can be pronounced like "fish":

gh, pronounced like "f" as in tough;
o, pronounced like "i" as in women; and
ti, pronounced like "sh" as in nation

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Thunderation!

Be aware that in Japanese, "aware" means "the bittersweetness of a brief, fading moment of transcendent beauty".

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Thunderation! Better to be a fopdoodle than a mumblecrust, right? All of those are historical curse words.

~~~

The paperback edition of my book isn't a dusty, moldering (seeming) "incunabulum" (TWITO, page 72) like the ones in this picture. And the Kindle and audiobook editions definitely are not: The Word I'm Thinking Of

(Technically, an "incunabulum" is a book printed before the 16th century.)

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Climate Isn't Just About the Weather

Climate isn't just about the weather. We have a mental and emotional climate too, and the atmosphere changes. Now we seem, at times, to live in an alternate universe, a cracked mirror world (yeah, "through the lookinglass") where thinkable thoughts include "off with her [his] head", Isis abdicates as an Egyptian goddess, and a killcow's crazy neologisms ("covfefe"?) presage a rising, inchoate tempest. Have you read the news today? Oh, boy.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Whodunit?

Do you prefer a "whodunit", a "howdunit", or a "howdhecatchem"? Those are all words associated with mystery stories. So is "gumshoe", another word for a detective. I've always wanted to write a detective story about a "gumshoe" whose favorite album is Rubber Soul.

~~~

So the word "artichoke" comes from the Arabic "al-khurshoof"? Gesundheit, I say!

~~~

Spy vs. phylactologist? A "phylactologist" is another word for a spy. (Coined by novelist Kingsley Amis in his 1966 book The Anti-Death League.)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: All You Need Is "Felechazo"?

Go here, there, and everywhere, thanks to "holoportation". That's virtual teleporting via 3-D videocams.

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"Parlous" means full of risk or danger -- like in a cliffhanger.

~~~

All you need is..."felechazo"? It refers to being struck by Cupid's arrow -- in Spanish.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Silly "Wabbit"?

Why toddle when you can "shoggle" or "warple"? Both are old-fashioned words for precarious ambling.

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Is your dossier full of "kompromat"? That's a Russian word for information gathered for the purpose of blackmailing someone. Could be a useful word someday soon.

~~~

Is your rabbit "wabbit"? It means exhausted or sickly.