Tag Archives: words

Hmmm

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Narcotic~any of a class of substances that blunt the senses, as opium, morphine, belladonna, and alcohol, that in large quantities produce euphoria, stupor, or coma, that when used constantly can cause habituation or addiction, and that are used in medicine to relieve pain, cause sedation, and induce sleep.

Neurotic~Informal A person prone to excessive anxiety and emotional upset.

Today a student told me I was a “narcotic.”  He wasn’t angry when he said it so I guess it wasn’t an insult.  Maybe he meant I was a “neurotic.”  Hmmm, I don’t know which one I’d rather be!

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This Thing Called Love

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Listening to myself talk and reading what I write, I’ve noticed how loosely I use the word love to describe things that in all actuality, I simply like a lot or enjoy.  The thought of tossing the L-word about brings back memories of my childhood.  We used to have a phrase, If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it!  “It” could have been a myraid of things.

Well, if that isn’t food for thought, I don’t know what is.  I love reading but I don’t think a book would make a good spouse. 

I also love calamari but I couldn’t imagine saying “I do” to breaded squid! Not to mention I love tea as well, although if I married it, wouldn’t it just evaporate over time?! 

I am not married to my career (though I do love my kids!) and on my deathbed I won’t regret not grading more papers or spending countless hours afterschool. 

There is a whole long list of things that I profess to love. (Shoes, purses, clothes, hot baths, blogging, warm covers, hot chocolate…to name a few)

But I’ve come to realize that what I love the most are people–not things.

Relieved

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Today I was checking a word in the dictionary to make sure I spelled it correctly and happened upon this curious entry: horehound. Of course it peaked my curiousity so I had to read the definition.  It was almost as if the dictionary knew what I was thinking:

“This word has nothing to do with either whores or hounds. It comes from the Old English harhune, from har, gray, + hune, horehound.

LOL! I then commenced to read the actual denotation: a perennial herb, used in making medicine and candy.

I feel so much better!

So What?

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I was just sending a friend an email when I suddenly noticed how much I use the words “so” and “really” in my less formal writing!  I use “so” to help express a variety of feelings.  I love my husband “sooooooooooooooooooo” much!  When I add the extra “o’s” then it’s serious business!  I so have to buy that coat–it was soooo cute! 

Really helps me emphasis the message I am trying to convey.  I am really very tired today.  Really really helps me get my point across.  What words do you overuse?

Behind the Name

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In my Etymology class the kids are currently working on a project regarding the history of names.  They started by finding the meaning of their own names.  I knew already that I share my name with a country in Africa.  But I didn’t know that it is also defined as “a fine, pebble-grained leather made from goatskin tanned with sumac!”

Now I don’t know about the goatskin leather part, but I like that Morocco is described as a beautiful kingdom!

I began to do a little research of my own as I entered various names of people I know into the database.  Eliza was one of them.  Her name in Arabic means “light.”  In Greek it means  “pity.”  

The students had to select five friends and/or family names to research.  Part of the assignement was to determine if the name fitted the  person by including a paragraph containing examples supporting their claims.

Eliza 

Eliza’s name is fairly appropriate.  I find that she does have some “light” in her.  I see her “light” when she faithfully writes her children every week.  She is “light” when she smiles.  Being of help to others is another way that she displays the meaning of her name.  She helped raise her brother’s daughter when her assistance was needed.  Eliza’s “light” shines when she walks with God and tries to find her way through life. 

The other meaning fits as well.  She is a pitiful being–one evoking sympathy.  Even though I am often overwhelmingly angry at her; it is tempered with much compassion.  She has experienced a hard, tragic life.  Eliza’s innocence was stolen and she was forced to grow up too soon. I too pity her because she has yet to realize that she has the power to overcome her past. 

Does your name fit you?

Watch What You Say

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My MIL strongly believes that people are capable of speaking things into existence, both good and bad.  Case in point:  My husband and I once had a pet name for Eliza.  We used to refer to her as “Crazy.”   I don’t think it is necessary for me to explain how she was christened with this.  However, we don’t call her this any more now that Ethan and Evan live with us.  We don’t want them to hear their mom being spoken of in a derogatory manner.

One day while talking on the phone with his mom about Eliza’s growing paranoia, he slipped and called her “Crazy.”  His mom, a devoutly religious woman was appalled.  She quickly reprimanded him for the wording. 

Even though she has experienced first hand how hostile Eliza can be; she stills feels that she should be regarded with dignity.  When my husband’s father died, his mom made the trip from Michigan to attend the funeral.  During this time Eliza and my one day in-the-future husband were separated.  She would not allow the kids to attend the funeral.  My MIL rarely came to town and was therefore eager to see her grandchildren.  She contacted Eliza to seek permission.  Eliza would not accept the calls.  Finally my MIL and SIL went to Eliza’s house.  After reasoning and praying with her for over an hour, Eliza finally relented.

My MIL shared this story with me several years ago.  She spoke about the wrath in Eliza’s speech and heart.  She too admitted that she thought Eliza had some mental issues.  However, she remains firm that if we speak of her in respectful terms and have loving thoughts about her that she will somehow receive these warm thoughts and act accordingly.  I might have to give this a try!

We tend to label a lot of things with this word.  We use it to describe people (She is so crazy!), places (They live in a crazy house!), actions (That was a crazy thing to do!), situations (I’m in a crazy predicament.), and things in which we don’t understand (I can’t even explain it–it was just crazy!).  In today’s time “crazy” is an expression of the hip.  Hence the title of TLC’s CD “Crazy, Sexy, Cool”  or Brian McKnight’s “Crazy Love”  or Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and I can’t forget Musiq’s “Half Crazy” and what about comedian Martin Lawrence’s popular catch phrase “You so crazy!”  Anyone wanna play a round of Crazy 8’s (I’m sure Evan does)?  Isn’t it “crazy” how this word can describe both good and bad?   My students use it frequently due to their limited vocabulary (Why we gotta take a test over MacBeth–that play was just crazy! or Mr. Lang act like he crazy!) It is a term we use so loosely with little regard to whether it is actually fitting or not.

Reluctantly I have must say that my MIL might have a point.  Crazy is too simple of a term to bestow upon Eliza.  So called “crazy”people (mentally ill) can actually seek treatments allowing them to have a relatively normal life unless in the most extreme cases.  Furthermore, I would be offended if I suffered from a mental illness and was referred to as crazy.  At this point I think “unhealthy” describes Eliza more accurately.   Unhealthy people won’t even admit that they have a problem.  She hasn’t been diagnosed with anything to my knowledge.  But I have to admit that “Unhealthy” doesn’t have the same ring as “Crazy!”  Please forgive me for this crazy post!