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Posts Tagged ‘words’

I haven’t heard neat-o in a long time.

As teens, we used to say it a lot. I catch myself these days before writing the first word — Neat! — that pops into my mind. It seems that Cool is just a tad too cool for me to use, and Interesting is too generic, vague, and dull. We used to say something was Hot. But, I’m torn now knowing when something is Hot versus Cool. It wouldn’t be Cool to use Hot, if the Hot item was actually a Cool one. Another word that I liked to use was Sharp. Nice clothes looked Sharp. A Hot/Cool car was Sharp. But, the word in that form has become archaic.

Just once, I used a word that I’d read in Little Women, because it sounded good to me. I think Laurie said it: Capital. As in “That’s a capital idea!” But, I received a perplexed look in return. Never used it again.

A surfing word, Gnarly, struck me as being fun to say! So for awhile I would say gnarly when I meant neato. Then, I discovered that gnarly wasn’t meant as something good. “The waves are gnarly today. Darn!” Then, I’d heard Funky and used that when things were not up to par. “Mary, those slacks look funky. When did you wash them last?” But, embarrassment! Funky is GOOD! Who knew?

One word I have used on occasion that I do know the meaning of is BAD! That’s Baaaaa-aaad! Meaning it’s Goooo-oood! But, the older guys in my computer club aren’t aware of that meaning, and I believe it has caused some distance between me and a couple who’ve emailed me as editor with items for the newsletter. “Your article is so BAD. Seriously.”

The word Wicked never caught on much — on the West Coast, anyway. It modifies another word when you say things like “That taco is wicked good!” Oh brother. Sounds uncool. Affected, yet ineffective, don’t you think?

I know a number of Mexican/Spanish phrases that are appropo and fun to say, but I don’t think they suit all my conversations or conversationalists. The phrases that come to mind are: Cowabunga! (Said with great emphasis on the Cow. Mouth forms a big O.) And, there is Ay Chihuahua! (The middle part of the word is pronounced as a hearty WOW. Chee-WOW-ah! It makes me smile to say it.) Then, there is the Yiddish: Oy vey! that comes in handy, but doesn’t have enough syllables in it to make it satisfying or make me smile. And, it’s tricky to say with the correct emphasis and facial expression.

So, fiddlesticks, what’s a person to say?

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