Today’s Word of the Day is parsimonious which means, “exhibiting or marked by thrift or economy.” In other words, cheap. Well, maybe not cheap, that’s a rather negative word, but someone who is parsimonious is definitely very, very particular about who and what they spend money on. As far as my blog title today goes, back in the early 20th century (the 1910s-1930s), nickels had a Native American on the obverse and a buffalo on the reverse. Thomas Jefferson wasn’t featured on the nickel until 1938. People who were said to “pinch the buffalo until it squealed” were incredibly stingy or exacting with their money, to the point of being more than a little irritating. It’s no different from the phrases “penny-pincher” and “penny-pinching.” I think some degree of fiduciary intelligence is important, especially right now with the economy in the shitter, but there also comes a point when your tightness with the wallet turns into a negative.
Today’s Word of the Day is histrionic which means, “theatrical or deliberately affected.” In other words, if someone is being waaaaaaaay over the top with their response, particularly if it’s a sad or emotional response, they’re engaging in some A#1 histrionics. We’ve all seen someone act like this, and nine times out of ten, it’s embarrassing because they’re clearly doing it for attention. I’m not suggesting that everyone should be as restrained as I am (I very seldom cry publicly, not even at funerals), but there’s a level of decorum that people should maintain and save the loud wailing and weeping for when they’re behind closed doors. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection. Here is “Cry Like a Baby” by The Box Tops. Enjoy!
Today’s Word of the Day is bromide which means, “a commonplace or hackneyed statement.” Bromides, in the chemical/medical sense, are used as a sedative, so in the literary sense, a bromide would be a cliche or trite comment meant to describe a sedate, dull person. As such, the pithy bon mots they shared were called “bromides.” A good example of one would be, “You’re a sight for sore eyes” or, “You don’t look a day over _____.” My favorite and one that gets used extensively this time of year is, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” While I say it’s my favorite, it’s also the one I probably hate the most because hot is hot, whether it’s humid or it isn’t. It’s 110°F in Phoenix, Arizona right now, and even though the humidity is only 12%, 110°F is goddamn HOT. You hear people out there say things like, “It’s a dry heat!” as though that makes it better. Not hardly. In contrast, it’s 86°F where I am right now with 67% humidity. Hot is hot, yo.
Today’s Word of the Day is emulate which means, “to strive to equal or excel.” There are a lot of people I want to emulate or that I try to emulate, in terms of their personality or work ethic or attitude. I’m an introverted, quiet person by nature, and it’s not something I’m always glad to be able to say. There have been more than a few times over the 38 years I’ve been alive that I wished I was more outgoing, more sociable. I’m never rude, but I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, the life of the party. I know growing up, my sister tried to emulate me as far as my grades went. She’s very intelligent, always has been, but she was never the most studious person in the world. She knew the material, but couldn’t be bothered to do the homework or study for the tests. As a result, her grades weren’t what they should have been. I finally had to tell our parents to quit telling her to be more like me; it wasn’t helping her self-confidence any. When she got to college though, everything changed, and she ended up doing better grade-wise than I did, something I never felt any jealousy over.
I hope all of you have a safe and happy Fourth of July wherever you’re celebrating it today. Allow me to also impart on you this wisdom, passed down from the ages —
WEAR A MASK
WEAR A MASK
WEAR A MASK
The whole point is to be able to celebrate Independence Day next year, hopefully not on a ventilator. It’ll be great to see President and Mrs. Biden presiding over the festivities in 2021. I hope. Dear God, please. Please. PLEASE.
Today’s Word of the Day is stentorian which means, “extremely loud.” You usually see/hear this word used to describe a person’s demeanor or verbal approach. For example, a politician might deliver a speech in a stentorian manner. It’s forceful. Direct. Some people respond well to that kind of energy, but others don’t. I’m one of those people. I’ve always believed you’re more apt to get people on your side or to get people to listen to if you do it at a calm, normal tone than if you’re ranting and raving. With that in mind, for today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection, I thought I’d go with a song that reminds you to keep it down. Here is “Hush” by Deep Purple. Enjoy!
Day 30 — A word you have always liked
The last one. 😦 I’ve really enjoyed doing this all month, and if I can, I’ll look for other 30 or 31-day challenges like this to do throughout the year. I think it’s helped me be more consistent with my writing and with my postings. A word I can honestly say I have always liked is obsequious. It’s such a great word. It means, “marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness.” If you don’t know what fawning means, it’s “to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner.” In other words, if you go overboard kissing someone’s ass to make them like you, you’re being obsequious, and no one likes those people. Now, you may be asking yourself why I like that word so much. For one, hardly anyone ever uses it right, and when possible, I enjoy correcting them. Two, it makes me sound smart when I use it. Three, it’s fun to say. It’s like kumquat in that regard, only, this word doesn’t sound like something out of a porno movie.
Day 29 — A word with several meanings
Just about every word in the dictionary has several meanings, but I decided to pick one of my favorite kinds of words — contronyms! Contronyms are words that have two opposing definitions. For example, oversight can mean something you overlooked or forgot about, but it can also mean the authority to check on something or monitor its progress. They clearly mean two different things. You sometimes hear them referred to as “Janus words” after the Roman god Janus who had two faces. Now, my favorite one of these words is peer. It can refer to someone who holds a title, such as Duke, Earl, or Baron. It can also mean someone who is your equal. For example, you are entitled to be tried by a jury of your peers, meaning average, everyday people. Now, considering what some of your average, everyday people are like, it’s not always comforting to know at least three of those folks could be sitting on a jury that is deciding your fate, but them’s the rules.
Today’s Word of the Day is parse which means, “to identify the grammatical parts of.” I always use this word to mean being overly nitpicky about what someone says. It’s probably not the most common way it’s used, but that’s the little niche it fills in my vocab arsenal. I also sometimes use it to describe someone who’s being overly careful about what words they’re using in conversation. Basically, if you should know anything about me, you should know that I’m not one to 100% of the time use words the way the dictionary intends me to use them. I think we’ve all had a conversation with someone who’s overly parsing their words, and it’s annoying. I get wanting to make sure you don’t offend someone or insult someone, but when you’re taking 10 minutes to answer a simple yes or no question, you’re being difficult just for the sake of it.
Day 28 — A word that is a palindrome
My apologies for this post being late. I completely forgot to put it up yesterday. I thought I’d scheduled it correctly, but apparently, I did not. Whoopsie. So…a palindrome is a word spelled the same way backward and forward, and the first word like that which came to mind is boob. You know, that thing men (and ladies who swing that way) like to stare at AND a nickname for a stupid, clumsy person. Boobs are certain the bane of my existence, both the body part kind and the stupid, clumsy person kind. What I wouldn’t give to have the money and/or insurance to get a reduction. I don’t mind having a little something, but I think I got more than my fair share. They don’t hurt, they don’t give me back/shoulder/neck pain, they’re just really goddamn annoying.