Monday, March 27, 2017

WORDS THAT STYMIE ME


When I was a child there were words I couldn't master. My tongue would just mangle them beyond recognition. I would add letters, subtract them  and would do the same with syllables.

I would get laughed at only once before  either conquering the word  or dropping them for substitutes but that first laughed at episode always stayed with me.  I lived by my Mom's favorite saying that "only a fool makes the same mistake twice".  

I mentioned previously that we had no TV as children for my mother thought we would quit communicating. She was pretty darn right it turned out.  

Before the days of vacant minds, blank stares, and only talking during commercials, we played games.  Some board games, some card games but mostly word games. The latter required no props. 

As the youngest, my favorite was, "I spy with my little eye something that starts with----".   I would then give the first letter of the thing I saw and it would be up to the rest of the players to identify what I "spied." The other players were only allowed 3 guesses. Kind of the word game equivalent to "Go Fish."  

When I realized I had a problem with words and spelling was when I stumped the bunch with "I see something that starts with M."  Each took their 3 tries and failed. Finally when they granted me  my victory they asked what the "M" was.  "Manoleum" I proudly said.  Even then it took a  while for them to realize I meant linoleum. 

I was given grace after much hooting of foul play but I finally ruined my credibility with "I see something that starts with P."  Again no one guessed and once more I smugly pronounced-"pusghetti" for spaghetti.  Boy did that take me back.

Now I eventually out grew most of the glaring mispronunciations but not completely.    Of course all I have to do is not use them in my everyday language but when I read the words, my mind screws them up and I know I am wrong. 

These are some of the words I struggle with today.  

RECIDIVISM  has been dumbed down to "repeat offending" in my oral vocabulary. Somehow I do fine till I reach the "vism" part then I tangle up and add syllables if I can finish at all.

CACOPHONY. This word I can pronounce but only after sounding it out slowly like a 3 rd grader. To my distress, I recently read a book where this was the author's favorite word and each time, I had to sound it out.  Sheesh. What is wrong with noise, racket or  clamor?  

PEREMPTORY. I get the meaning when reading this, mostly in legal novels, but in my head I am thinking it wrong and my mind knows I'm wrong. I add an unnecessary "A" and double "P" to the mix.  I won't tackle it if I am trying to impress.




COPERNICUS.  Ok this is a name, not a word but it is one I have seen and said several times in 77+ years but when I see it in print, it is a struggle every time. I read a book a while back that repeatedly refers to Nicholas Copernicus.  Each of the at least 20 references to his last name, I had to sound it out in my head like a child. 

Hum, wonder if there is a nice scientific three letter acronym for what ails me.   Maybe, PPB (poor phonics background)? 

Ooh, ooh, I think I may have conquered  three of these just now by writing about them. Suddenly they seem so simple. Time will tell. However Nicholas's last name is still giving me fits. It just doesn't sound like it looks. 

Are there words that stymie you today and you avoid or do you bull dog though till you conquer them??   

Monday, March 20, 2017

CLOSET CLASSICAL LOVER


Has there ever been something about yourself that you have held close and not even told your closest friends and family??  Nothing you are ashamed of but something you  intended to keep just for yourself.

We bloggers tend to share just about everything about ourselves.  As the quote on my side bar states--

"Things I would not tell anyone, I tell the public."  Michel de Montaigne. 

That has pretty much been my guide line for blogging.  After my poop post, I'm guessing you don't think I have held back anything.

My taste in music has been posted about several times.  I have pretty eclectic taste in music from the blues, rock and roll, gospel, country, and pop. The only areas I stay away from are opera (don't speak the language) progressive jazz and rap. 

But my secret love is classical.  This is where I go to unwind, to meditate, to tune in with my senses.  Do I know classical?? No. Can I tell you what movement I am listening to? No. Do I know or even care who created or who is performing?? Nope. 

I am not a highbrow.  I am quite  a low brow who just likes to mellow out listening to a string quartet, flutist, or symphony orchestra. 

I just let the music flow over me like a healing balm as it turns my mind into a calm lake.  My nerves and tensions become Teflonseque.  

When I was a teenager, most of us judged music by how good a beat it had and if it was fun to dance to. Generally, me too with those two simple criteria.  But I had a secret passion even then that I told no one about. I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to be snooty. 

Do you remember the listening booths that record stores use to have?  You could take your vinyl into the booth and without disturbing anyone could listen to your choice.  

Most everyone went in with 45s to hear the latest pop hits. I went in with the 331/3 long play classical choices.  I did it when none of my friends or classmates were with me. I kept it secret. The booths were my secret vice. I never bought, only listened.

The above is very similar to the booths I enjoyed. I wonder if there are listening booths anymore or for that fact, record stores?

 Today I have hours of all types of music on my computer. Gotta love this amazing method of storage.  Ninety minutes  of it however is devoted to classical renditions.

With the simple command to my Echo Dot, "Alexa, play my classical music," I can make my self comfortable and leave this world and all its current problems. Politics, hate, anger, greed, poverty, hunger, disease and plain ole meanness disappear.  Cruelty to the different among us, to the young, the old and to animals no longer exists, at least for a while.
Ahhhhhh.

Do you have such a place to go?   Do you have some guilty pleasure you have kept to yourself that might surprise those of us who read your words regularly? I promise not to tell.