30-Day Word Challenge: Day 1

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New for the month of June! I found this on Merriam-Webster’s Twitter account, and it looked like fun. I’m always looking for new ways to spice up my blog and make more interesting content, not just for you to read, but for me to write. All month I’ll be doing the 30-Day Word Challenge wherein each day, I write about a different word based on the prompt given to me. I’ll still be doing the Word of the Day prompt, so occasionally you’ll get two posts a day instead of one.

Day 1 — A word that makes you happy

Lots of words make me happy, but one of the words at the top of the list is definitely “chocolate.” If I have any food weaknesses, that’s A #1. I especially love dark chocolate, and the darker and more bitter, the better. Not very healthy, I know, but I don’t indulge all the time. I treat it like a treat, something I allow myself every once in a while. For example, my birthday is on Sunday, so I’ll definitely be having some chocolate then. Chocolate + birthday = HAPPY!

Take it on the chin.

Today’s Word of the Day is assail which means, “to attack, confront, or criticize.” Well. Talk about a timely word. I don’t often get political on this blog, at least not to any great depth, only because I don’t know where all my readers are from or what their ideological leanings are and offending people isn’t my aim. That being said, what’s going on with Comrade COVID right now and Twitter in particular is alarming. He just recently tweeted that he thinks cops in Minnesota should be able to shoot-to-kill looters. If I tweeted something like that (I wouldn’t, but let’s say in this alternate reality, I would), I’d be banned from the platform so fast, my head would spin. However, for some reason, it’s okay when HE does it. Then, when Twitter “fact checks” statements he made about mail-in voting, he throws a hissy fit and claims they shouldn’t be legally allowed to do that.

102,000 Americans are dead. The economy is in shambles. There are riots in the streets over police brutality. However, the supposed leader of the free world is taking time out of his day to bitch about social media? Jesus wept.

Today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection is what I’d love to hear Jack Dorsey say to Comrade COVID, but it’s unlikely to happen since Combover Caligula is good for Dorsey’s bottom line. Here is “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. Enjoy!

Just the facts, ma’am.

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Today’s Word of the Day is empirical which means “based on observation or experience.” This is one of those words you learn as a kid in school, whether in Science class in grammar school or in Chemistry (more likely) in high school. In short, empirical evidence is something you can see and measure. For example, writing down the temperature you see on a thermometer is empirical evidence. Looking at a scale to read what something weighs, then writing it down or notating it somewhere, is another form of empirical evidence. Of course, this doesn’t have to refer to just numbers you log in a notebook somewhere. You can look at the state of things in this country right now and get a lot of empirical evidence for how badly it’s been fucked up. 102,000 dead Americans in three months. Highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. The riots in Minnesota. Empirical evidence everywhere.

Dressed to the nines.

Today’s Word of the Day is preen which means, “to make one’s appearance neat and tidy.” I don’t think I preen all that often. To me, this has a slightly egotistical connotation. You know, someone staring at their reflection in every mirror or pane of glass they walk by, always fussing with their hair or fixing their clothes. I don’t do that. That’s a level of vanity, IMO, I don’t have. I’ll check to make sure I don’t have a tag sticking out or that my skirt/dressed isn’t tucked into my underwear or something, but on the whole, I don’t worry too much about my appearance. I make sure when I leave the house, my clothes fit and aren’t stained/dirty, but I don’t have a compulsion to constantly be adjusting myself all day. On that note, I thought today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection was perfect, insofar as making sure you’re always nattily attired is concerned. Here is “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco. Enjoy!

Does it do what it says it does?

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Today’s Word of the Day is cowcatcher which means, “a frame on the front of a locomotive.” I’ve seen them countless times on old-timey trains, not to mention a variation of them on the front of subway trains in Chicago and New York, but nowadays I think they’re used more for clearing snow off the tracks than, you know, catching cows. I’d think if a train was moving fast enough with one of those things on the front, it wouldn’t catch the cow so much as turn it into ground beef. Maybe back in ye olden days, that’s what said frame was used for, but I can’t imagine there’s much demand for that now.

Just a brief interruption.

Today’s Word of the Day is stymie which means, “to present an obstacle to.” I can’t say this is a word I use all that often in everyday life. I see it used in print quite often, and I hear it used often enough, but it’s not part of my daily rota of words. It’s kind of annoying when I run across words I don’t really use because it makes me feel like my vocabulary isn’t that good. I also tried to challenge myself to think of a moment I’d been stymied by someone or something recently, and I drew a blank. I guess in that respect I’ve gotten lucky, but my luck could change later today for all I know. Have you stymied by someone or something recently? How did you handle it? Did you get annoyed/aggravated/upset or did you just let it roll off your back? While you’re thinking about that, you can listen to today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection. A great synonym (or expression) for stymie is “throw a monkey wrench into,” so why not go with something by The Monkees? Here is my favorite song of theirs, “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You.” Enjoy!

Outshines the sun.

photography of yellow hibiscus under sunlight

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Today’s Word of the Day is refulgence which means, “a radiant or shining quality or state.” This is one of those words that sounds like it means something negative, but in reality, it means something beautiful. For example, Bill Hader’s smile is definitely refulgent. If you know who I’m talking about, then you absolutely know what I’m referring to. If you don’t, then click here for a lovely example of his lovely smile. I like people who can make other people happy without having to work very hard. That to me is a radiant, shining quality for a person to have. I wish I could say I was good at making people happy with little to no effort, but sadly, I am not. I don’t have to work hard to do it, but it also doesn’t take zero effort either.

Do not pass go.

Today’s Word of the Day is verboten, which means, “forbidden or prohibited.” I use this word far more than I use the English equivalents. I use quite a few German words more than I use their English equivalents, only because I think they sound better. For example, why say you’re happy to see someone upset when you can say you’re experiencing some much-needed schadenfreude? Why say something is wonderful or great when you can say wunderbar instead? Now, to get back to the topic of today’s post, a lot of things are forbidden or prohibited right now, like eating in restaurants, taking your kids to the playground, or getting a haircut. There are no sports, no movies/TV shows are being filmed (Barry Season 3, where are you…?), and you can’t go to a concert or the theater. It’s all for an excellent reason, so I’m not complaining. We gotta do what we gotta do right now to get through this, and we will get through it. So long as all the protestor morons go home and stay there. Stay strong, peeps. For today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection, I thought I’d go with a song that talks about something verboten right now that hopefully, we’ll be able to do again soon. Here is “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas. Enjoy!

The standard-bearer.

photo of runway model modelling a black outfit

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Today’s Word of the Day is quintessence which means, “the most typical example.” We get the word “quintessential” from the same root as our Word of the Day, in case that wasn’t glaringly obvious. LOL. A great example of how to use this in a sentence would be to say that Cindy Crawford is the quintessence of fashion and being stylish — if you ever saw her dressed in ratty sweatpants, a stained t-shirt, and Crocs, you might be concerned. For me, the ratty sweatpants and Crocs are basic fashion staples…at least right now. Ain’t nowhere to go, ain’t no one to see me, so who cares what I wear around the house. I do insist on wearing clean t-shirts, though. There’s a limit to my sloppiness right now.

Call me by my name.

Today’s Word of the Day is appellation which means, “an identifying name or title.” In other words, it’s what you call someone to make it so other people know who you’re talking about. Not all appellations mind you are flattering. My dad, back before he retired, used to work with someone who was called “Dickhead Dave.” I don’t know how he got that nickname, I assume it was from acting like a dickhead around the office, but he told me that whenever anyone saw him, they never said, “Oh, hey Dave, how are you?” It was always, “Hey, it’s Dickhead Dave! How’s it going?” I have to imagine that got old after a while. These are grown men in their 50s and 60s, by the way, not dudebros in their 20s. I’m not sure if that makes it funnier or more embarrassing. Poor Dave. A good lesson to take away from this is to try not to earn yourself any unflattering sobriquets. You might be stuck with it for the rest of your life. On that note, today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection talks about different ways to describe the singer, all appellations I’m sure he welcomed. Though, I’m still not sure what the “Pompatus of Love” is supposed to be. Here is “The Joker” by Steve Miller Band. Enjoy!