Thursday, November 8, 2007

What's the Word?

What’s the Word?

There is a young woman at work who regularly asks me,” What’s the word?” Now, of course, I know that “What’s the word?” is Kelly Jo’s way of asking “What’s new?” However, I like words, in a rather obsessive, former English teacher, kind of way; so I usually try to answer her literally and come up with some word that I find interesting.

The first time she asked, “What’s the word?” Kelly Jo seemed a bit surprised that I didn’t answer, “Not much,” like everyone else. She looked at me very strangely, incredulous that I really did not know what she was asking. When I convinced her that “I got it,” but that I thought it might be “fun” to actually discuss a word; she rolled her big eyes, displaying lashes perfectly plumped with mascara, tilted her head to the right and put on a fake smile. I have tried to teach her new words in the office on a regular basis for the past four years and now she realized that she had been duped and unwittingly committed herself to another vocabulary lesson. All three of my children would immediately empathize with Kelly Jo because I do this to them at every available opportunity.

I suppose Kelly Jo continues to play along with me because I am her boss and it’s in her best interest to smile and pretend to be interested. It also gives her a few extra minutes to gab; or, more precisely, listen to me gab; instead of doing her work. Besides, she’s a good-natured girl who, in the vernacular of a former teacher, “plays well with others.” I like to think that my “word of the day” gives Kelly Jo something to laugh about at home and share with her friends, but I’m probably completely deluded about that.

Considering how I enjoy discussing words with anyone who will listen, including salaried employees and children stuck in the car with me; I thought it might be fun to post a word that interests me and discuss it on a blog every now and then, too. My niece, Emily, has had a blog for three years that has taken me through her shoulder surgery; study abroad in Spain; and, most recently, her thoughts on the television writer’s strike. My niece, Gina, has been blogging for over a year about her experiences living in Guatemala, including some not-so-pleasant postings about fleas, mysterious rashes and a chipped front tooth. My younger daughter, Somer, who is a sophomore in high school, has entertained me for the past few weeks with entries about being too sick to go to school, play rehearsals and a youtube video that she watched in biology class. Come to think of it I may have to steal the youtube video from her and post it here because it is very funny and involves a “word.”

Anyway, thank you Kelly Jo for asking, “What’s the Word?” and giving me an idea for a blog that is so right for me. Just don’t think that I’ll get so preoccupied with blogging that it will be the end of the vocabulary lessons at work!

1 comment:

Emilia said...

I'm so excited! You've found your blog and you've found your audience. Hit me with a good word.

Here's my contribution: I recently learned that the word chortle (to chuckle gleefully) was invented by Lewis Carroll in his poem "Jabberwocky" by combining the words chuckle and snort.