I love words. Smitten by them you might say. I use a lot of them. Some people would say I use more of them than anyone else. I must know like 2,756 words. Maybe more. Maybe I know so many words because I read a lot. Sort of a lot. Well, really a lot. I read everything. I am an avid fan of cereal box literature. I know way more about riboflavin than most people.
I read in the bathtub, a shampoo bottle connoisseur: Red #5, ammonium lauryl ether sulfate, that sort of stuff, many new and scientific words. While on an Air China flight once I spent most of the one-hour flight reading (well, more like intensely squinting at) a Chinese newspaper. I think they read right to left or something like that, but I just scanned it the normal way. They were still words.
Sometimes I have a chance to use some good words. I usually just get to use regular words like taco, wrench, s’more, and spatula, but occasionally an opportunity arises where I find myself in the perfect situation to become magniloquent and wax poetically. I definitely have a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to expressing myself. I can sound pretty much like Jesse Jackson when properly inspired. Only I usually make less sense and have a less captive audience.
Certain professions get to use some pretty cool words. Astronauts. Now they have some good ones, geosynchronous, micrometeoroids, hypergolic and yaw. For crying out loud, they get to say copasetic. I would give anything for a legitimate reason to say that. I try it sometimes anyway, like at a restaurant when the waiter asks how the meal was. I say boldly, “Copasetic, sir,” which is followed by that weird, squinty sideways smile and a patronizing, “OK.”
Swordfighters have daily chances to say balestra, molinello, and passata sotto. How cool is that? Them right there are some good words.
One of the best guys I ever met with words was a shuttle driver for Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the Atlanta Airport, a Georgia man who read Voltaire, a hillbilly philosopher. Plato Pruitt Jr. I think his name was. He was a thin guy with hair like Andy Griffith, a pair of dark blue Dickie’s trousers about four inches too short so his white socks and ankle skin glowed like a lighting bug. He looked like he stepped off the “O Brother Where Art Thou” set, unfiltered Lucky Strike and a faraway glint in his eyes.
Usually at the time when I traveled to and from the airport no one else was on the shuttle. He would drive along and then say something incredibly hilljack-ularly profound out of the blue like he was talking to no one in particular.
“There seems to be two camps when it comes to coon dogs. Ya got yur Walker dawg people, and ya go yur Redbone folk. Aside from coonhuntin’ they live in an idyllic world. One may extrapolate an auspicious relationship based on a equal affinity for man’s best friend. The situation is the antithesis. In all candor, them daggone fellers are just plain nuts when it comes to coon dawgs. When formed ad hoc they each give very cogent arguments as to the superiority of their respective canines.
“While Cletis Penrod pontificates on the treeing capabilities of his Walker dog, Cooter and his boy Junior produce a plethora of evidence illustrating the tracking skills of their Redbones. Dang. Makes ya want ta slap ‘em. Dauntlessly them boys traverse from dawgs to pickup trucks to jerky seasonings dogmatically expressing affinity for their preferences. It becomes quite a heated imbroglio actually. A bystander could sit back, have a Mr. Pibb and a moon pie while enjoying a manifestation of this magnitude.”
Now that is the way to drop some verbology. He would then just lean back and drive while taking a long, slow drag on his cigarette and stare off into the horizon. I would just sit there and contemplate nothing he said and wonder if the pizza at Sbaro’s in the food court at Concourse C was gonna be hot or greasy.
Some words are funnier than others. Call me 12, but I giggle every time I see or hear the word “Shiite” in the news, same with buttress. Some words I just don’t like. The word Hazbolla freaks me out so much in fact that I have never officially pronounced it out loud. I just sorta go “hez-blah-blah” and move ahead briskly. The name Faizon does the same thing to me. Skeeves me witless.
On the other hand, I love the word plethora and get giddy when using or hearing it. I can find a plethora of opportunities to verbalize this locution. I plug it in whenever I can.
So here I am, typing words and reading them as I go. Maybe I’ll think of some others while I am reading junk mail and eating cereal out of the mixing bowl. Slurpage. Is that a word? What’s left in the bottom of the bowl that you can’t quite get with the spoon and must drink by tilting the vessel? They’re all words if you can make ‘em believable. It’s just a form of embulishism really. (Did I get you?)