Pinch that buffalo until it squeals.

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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.

Quite the performance.

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!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…​

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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.

You know what they say about imitation.

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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.

Turn it down, will you?

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!

Oh, just out with it already.

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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.

A little bit country.

Today’s Word of the Day is yokel which means, “a naive person from a rural area or town.” I live in a semi-rural area, so I know a thing or two about yokels. I live amongst them, shop amongst them. There’s nothing wrong with being a yokel, not really, it’s just not me. I’m from Chicago, so I’m an urban, city girl. The only thing I have a real issue with is the politics of the area, but I can’t change that alone. I do my part and vote every two years, but I have to rely on the people around me to do the same and hope they vote like I do. (Spoiler: They don’t.) With that in mind, for today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection, I thought I’d share one of my favorite country songs with you, a genre I wouldn’t have gotten into if it wasn’t for my Dad. He loves country, but it’s classic country. So, think Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline, etc. Another one of those artists is Marty Robbins, someone whose entire discography he owns. On vinyl. Here is “Ruby Ann” by the aforementioned Mr. Robbins. Enjoy!

The all-powerful.

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Today’s Word of the Day is omnipotent which means, “having virtually unlimited authority.” I think we can all agree that anyone who claims to be omnipotent has a few screws loose. Especially so if they claim to be omnipotent at their jobs. There’s something inherently dangerous about having a boss or manager…or president…who thinks there’s no checks or balances on what they do. Abuse of power is a serious problem, whether you work for McDonald’s or the federal government. All too often though, we see people using even the tiniest bit of power or authority over someone or a group of people to act like one of the biggest assholes that ever lived. Usually, it’s because they were picked on or kicked around when they were younger and now they have someone or a group of someones to take it out on.

Eat, drink, and be merry.

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Today’s Word of the Day is gourmand which means, “one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking.” I tend to hear this word used a lot to describe someone who is a snob about the food/drink they like or a snob about the idea of eating and drinking than someone who just enjoys it in general. I don’t drink, but I do enjoy eating food I like. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a gourmand. Anthony Bourdain to me was a gourmand. He liked good food and good alcohol, but he definitely had a line in the sand about what he considered “good” and what he didn’t. I didn’t always agree with him, but I could respect the methodology. I wasn’t a world-class chef. He was.

Good times, good feelings.

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Today’s Word of the Day is fraternize which means, “to be friendly or amiable with someone.” I sometimes see this word used in terms of behavior that is prohibited, particularly between two people or two groups of people. For example, NFL cheerleaders are not allowed to “fraternize” with the players on the teams they cheer for. They can’t date them, they can’t even hang out with them socially. Now, I don’t think that’s necessary, grown women can hang out with whomever they want without it causing an issue for their job, but the teams make the rules. Fraternize comes from the Medieval Latin frater meaning, “brother.” Just as a little bonus, other English words we use that come from that same root are friar, fraternity, and confraternity which is a society devoted to a religious or charitable cause. So, The Salvation Army, for example.