Monday, January 21, 2013

The Words Get In The Way

In October, I hung out with my sister and my two nephews for a week.  My eldest nephew was cracking me up the entire time because of his (I'm just gonna say it) random use of the word "random."  You know how kids learn a new word and then use it constantly, like they're trying it on, breaking it in like toe shoes or a catcher's mitt? He's 8 so he's at a prime age for that stuff.  And, he was most certainly doing that with "random."  At one point, he looked at me and said, "I am SO random, Kendra."  And I totally agreed with him because, I mean, he's a kid.  Pretty much everything he says is random.  He said the word maybe 89 more times over the next few days.  The absolute best was when he held up a pumpkin he'd just drawn a face on and said, "Hey, Kendra, look at my pumpkin, he's so random."

Ha.  Yes.  Random indeed.

This is the kid who got stuck on the phrase, "Where about," when he was three.  As in, "Where about we go to the movies and you buy me popcorn, K-Dawg?" or "Where about those giraffes, don't they like to eat cotton candy?"  We would correct him, of course.  (We assumed he meant "what about.") But, he was determined to say "Where about" and I have to admit I loved it because he sounded like a cast member from Oliver.  I wanted to dress him in a newsboy cap and fingerless gloves and make him say, "Where about we consider ourselves at home, chaps?  Pip pip cheerio!"

But, it's not just kids who do this.  I have a friend, a grown adult who does this.  But, when she does it, it's always a really cool 100-point word that I've either forgotten existed or never knew to begin with.  (I've googled her words on my phone before.)  There was a three-month period where she described everyone as "mercurial" and it was pretty awesome.  (I've since added that one to the rotation myself because, you know, it's pretty good, guys.)

So, I'm sitting there laughing about my nephew and my friend and I realized that I am the absolute WORST at this.  In high school, I got stuck on the word "immensely."  I used it in essays, in notes, in conversation and in my diary.  Not always correctly either.  Here are some examples:
  • I am immensely in love with M.  He is so cool and makes my heart feel immensely full.
  • Edgar Allen Poe was an immensely popular American poet in the 1800s.  His works were bursting with immensely dark imagery and themes.
  • Did you see me get in trouble in Biology?!  I am an immensely huge dork.  At least R and A laughed though!  See you at lunch.  M&Ms!  Peace out.  Lylas, K
Like that.  For years.  Then, it got worse because I got a good comment on a report for correct use of the word "supersede" and I just became an immensely horrible monster as the word "supersede" superseded "immense" in my terrible teen vocabulary.  The worst was when I used them together.
  • The best example of hubris in Shakespeare is when Macbeth kills Duncan because of his immense desire for the throne.  The hubris of Macbeth is superseded only by that of Romeo and Juliet, who are immensely self-involved and don't care about anything but their own desires.
  • My love for M has been superseded by an immense infatuation with B and I'm conflicted about it.
  • My favorite Depeche shirt has been superseded by that Cure tee because I think it hangs better over my leggings.  What do you think, dork?
Yes.  I know.  My immensely annoying nature is superseded only by my pretentiousness.  And, the thing is, I think I still do it.  Like how I always say, "dorkvomit," even though that's not a real word or how I started using "totes" ironically and then ended up saying it to my 100-year-old neighbor in the elevator.  (I also just used "meta" in a message to someone and I'm pretty sure I didn't use it correctly.)  So, the next time you notice me saying the same word over and over again, please call me out on it.  Oh, except for the following:  vodka, totally, ewoks, like, guys.  Totally aware of those, guys.  Like, totally aware.