Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Waterfall of Words

[Editorial note: A week ago, I took my brother-in-law’s challenge to go a week without exceeding 140 characters in all my Facebook updates. In that spirit, I avoided updating my blog, and I tried to stay under the limit even when posting comments on friends’ pages. It has been a frustrating and informative experience. It was also fun, in the way that a drunken beach party in which everyone trashes the hotel room might be fun. (I wouldn’t know.) I do know that I thoroughly abused the English language this week, and I apologize to everyone affected. I document, below, the process of returning to “normal” Gail style…]

[Gnaw, bang]

Mmf. Mmmph!!!

Narf, zort, dratted piffle?

4 & u r 8 w/ 2; for, and, you, are, –ate, with, to/two/too.

Wrath, wraith, wreath, wroth, writhe…

Gratuitously. Epidemiologically. Stringently. Adverbiously!*

Prestidigitate! Scourgify! Cantankerously cankerous cancers!


D e – s c r u n c h I f I c a t I o n !*

I’m a very verbal person.

I am:

+Articulate with adverbs, appreciative of allomorphs, authoritative on articles, antsy at antecedents, and even ardent about aspectful auxiliary verbs.

+Babblish*, even with bound morphemes.

+Chatteritive*, using classifiers in compound-complex clumps of clauses. Copiously circumlocutious. 

+Demonstrative with diffuse declension(s).

+Expressive, using elision elaborately in my elegies.

+Fluent at flitting betwixt formal and informal forms in fitting fashion.

+Garrulous, but not gauche, about grammar.

+Happy to honor the general heterogeneity of homonyms and homographs.

+Imaginative with imperatives, and inquisitive about the imperfect, but never imperious about the imperative.

+Jabberiferous* about juxtaposed jabberwockies and jackrabbits.

+Keen concerning “kinetic distinction.”

+Loquacious--even loose-lipped!--about labialization. (But, sadly, listless about the locative case.)

+Multiloquent, making morphology metaphors.

+Never-ending in narcissistic narrations.

+Obsequious toward overflowings of oxymoronic onomatopoeia.

+Prolix in producing patentable parables. Parental toward parentheses. (Awwww.)

+Querulous about: 1) incorrectly attributed quotes, and 2) rudely quelled questions.

+Restless during others’ rambling, redundant rhetoric, but romantic, rabidly so, regarding resplendent repartee.

+Supercilious toward slaves who split infinitives, snitchful* to scamps who seek improperly to sever separable verbs, and simply scurrilous to sinners who switch swiftly between second and third person pronouns in stories. 

+Teeming with transitive verbs. “Teachy” (pedantic) about text, tense, tone, tropes, and themes.

+Unique in my usage of unusual utterances.

+Voracious for verbs; vociferous with vowels; veracious about voice; verbose about the vocative. (O, valuable, volatile vocabulary!)

+Windific* when wheezing wistfully about writing, words, whales, and winches.

+Xenophilic toward extra-regular extensions of English.

+Yackable*--when avoiding yes/no questions on Yeats.

+…and Zesty…about zero morphs…and…um, zoological Zoroastrianism?

(Just because I like words doesn’t mean I get ‘em right on the first pass.)

The POINT of all this, naturally, is that my recent week has been dreadfully…cramped. Cloistered. Claustrophobic. 

I’m not proud of the depths to which I fell. Normally I try to employ correct writing mechanics, but take away the veneer of civilization, and, Oh! how rapidly I descended to “the natural man,” the bestial need to broadcast, even badly. 

Obviously the excellent maxim “If you can’t say somethin’ grammatical, don’t say nothin’ at all” is beyond me. Confined and circumscribed by the silly challenge, I expressed myself the only way possible, even though it meant a sad dimunition of my stated standards.

I’ve gotten varied reactions: some people enjoyed watching me squirm; others found my “mixd cAs spelEn” (mixed case spelling) absolutely obnoxious. (Don’t blame ‘em. I cringed, myself.)

The most common reaction has been “I’m looking forward to the resumption of normal posts.” How sweet! :)
Thanks, all!

Naturally, I “hammed up” my suffering. That was part of the fun!

All the same, I’m glad I’m back to "normal."

If you should see me author a ten line sentence in the next few weeks, be charitable; call it a post-traumatic stress reaction and pray that I regain my equilibrium shortly: I shall be seeking professional assistance toward the goal of re-integrating into the mainstream, and hopefully my recent foray into darkness will give me greater charity toward those unfortunates who have never mastered English spelling, grammar, or even punctuation—after all, such things can be very “tricksy” and I would do well to remember that not everyone remembers automatically whether to use “it’s” or “its”…of course, one would think the punctuation would be easier, so if you see me attacking someone for using a colon instead of a semicolon when separating a dependent and independent clause, kindly remind me of my renewed vow toward tolerance and understanding; for, after this difficult week in which I shamefully heaped ignominy upon my mother tongue, who am I to cast a stone at others, when, as I state at the beginning of this paragraph/sentence, it is I, even I, who require absolution; finally, friends, let us all remember this: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

Speaking of mercy, I will extend some to Brian—after, hypocritically, exacting an eensy, speckish smidge of vengeance on him for suggesting this ordeal.


(Approximately 5,600 characters, 850 words.)


References: I tip my hat to,, and especially, this glossary of linguistic terms

* Footnotes: All asterisk’ed words were portmanteau’ed by me. They were real-ish words to which I suffixed standard adjectival or adverbial endings. (It was the adjectives and adverbs I missed most, you know, during my long torture….) Except for "de-scrunchification", wherein I took the word scrunch and added several affixes, both pre- and post-, to create a new noun whose definition should be obvious.

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