Saturday, July 27, 2013

On saying what you mean

“Word defilement”

    I doubt anyone will remember me as a person who did all he could to preserve the English language in the form to which it was intended. “Of” which it was intended? One of those prepositional things.

    Truth is, I’ve been known to make up words, but only on rarifiable occasions. And, I’ll occasionally turn verbs into nouns and visa versa. About three times in my writing career I’ve even exaggerated. Can’t think of an example at the moment, but I’m sure it’s happened.

    However, my misuse of the English language is nothing compared to what I’ve been witnessing of late. Case in point, Kay and I went out for Chinese last weekend -- Which in itself is a misuse of the word Chinese. We weren’t looking for Chinese any more than we were looking to eat Mexicans when we went out for fajitas. We berate an entire ethnic group when we do stuff like that, and that’s something to put up with of which I won’t. 

    Where was I? —Oh, yeah. I ordered a bunch of crab puffs at the Chinese Restaurant. They were delicious. Crunchy crust with cream cheese stuffing. The only thing missing was even the hint of crab, making one wonder why the Chinese settled on the word “crab” in naming the puffs.

    Considering the significance “crab” plays in the making of the puff, it could as easily called “Volvo puff” as “crab.” I’m not saying the puffs never came with crab, I’m just saying the restaurants I visit have yet to incorporate the ingredient into the recipe. I’m thinking that during Mao’s Cultural Revolution he ordered crab removed from the recipe just so he could mess with the U.S. I don’t want to upset any Chinese-Americans, but I consider that beyond cruel. It’s crueliester.

    Enough of that. I’ve mentioned three or 18 times that I’ve got Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s a bear. The prescribed recommended to calm my legs has side effects that include vision loss, excessive sweating and a propensity to gamble. I kid you not.

    While I haven’t gambled any more or less than usual, I have noticed massive sweating problems to the point where I am now 136 years-old in Galapagos tortoise years. (I may have misconstrued something during my research on perspiration.)

    My vision has also worsened. That’s why I called my eye doctor, to see if the vision might improve once I quit the pills. You’ve got to be pretty bad off to just pop in to see your doctor. I’m thinking most doctors have quit and we’ve been left out of the loop. “Let’s see, Mr. Hayter, I can get you in January 32.”

    After explaining my problem my doctor’s assistant, I was asked if I had suffered vision loss. I told her I didn’t know what that meant. If “vision loss” means I can’t see as well as I used to, then yes, I’m at a loss. If “loss” means that I can’t see at all, I would’ve never found the phone to make the call. The nurse said that being able to see was a good sign, so it’d be okay to wait for the nearest appointment date which was in late September.

Vision “loss” and “crab” puff? The substances of quandary I’ve got little time and  two more examples, so I lets push on.--  I watch a bunch of those investigative reporting shows. Dateline, 20/20, Behind Mansion Walls, I Married a Lunatic… At some point during each episode of every series, a detective will say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Really? In one episode it was discovered that a daughter had her boyfriend murder her mother. While explaining the case, the detective said, “It’s stranger than fiction. You can’t make this stuff up.”

Do any of these detectives ever watch “The Mentalist,” “NCIS”, “Elementary,” or any of the other two dozen cop dramas? Just try to follow the reasoning of the murderer. “So it was you, Mrs. Thompson, mother of the auto mechanic, who was having an affair with the victims cousin in order to get drugs from her step father who happened to owe the victim some money.” – What? No one has yet found something that is impossible to make up. You can quote me.

During a commercial last week, I heard an announcer make this disclaimer in regard to a highly touted medication -- “May cause unusual dreams.”  What? If you’ve ever had a dream where everything seemed normal, you were awake at the time.

By definition, dreams are unusual. – “Dream: an unusual course of imaginary events that take place in one’s mind during sleep… each of which is somehow tied to the sense that you’re naked.” (Webson’s Dictionary, 2002)

Hey, I could go on and on here, but I’m out of time. Let me just say in closing that society now finds itself at a point where it can no longer place value on the meaning of certain words. Most words. And, let me tell you, I’m getting sick and tired of it. – Well, not literally sick, but definitely tired. Oh, I’m tired all right.

End  and

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