Dictionary Challenge Weeks 24-27: Halfway There

You thought I gave up didn’t you? Any sane person probably would have. But no. I’ve just been eyeball deep in definitions for the past month, chipping away at this deficit I’ve been in since the get-go. I am now only 106 pages behind, down from the nearly insurmountable 242 at the peak of my shortfall. I am also past the six-month mark. I know I don’t have to dumb this down, but… that’s six months OF MY LIFE.

I am also now on the letter “L.”

But let’s back track a bit and see just what words I learned, liked or simply saw over the past month and now want to share with you.

First off, I have to say: I am not from the city. I have down-home, back-country, small-town roots. So I didn’t know what HOV stood for. High octane vehicle? Not mine. Human occupied vehicle? Aren’t they all? Turns out, I didn’t have to pull out google to find out. It stands for High Occupancy Vehicle. I also found out that google ranks up there with Grammy winners, kings of days past, and those awarded the Nobel Prize. That’s right… Google has its own entry in the dictionary: search (a term) on the Internet using the search engine Google.

You know you’re a big deal when your name becomes a verb.

And speaking of the internet…. I think it deserves a better entry than “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standard communication protocols” I mean, come on, this is the biggest mother of an invention that has seamlessly enslaved billions of people. Maybe “The Almighty ruler of the modern world” would suffice?

The Internet

A few new learnings include discovering that a goober is a peanut; that Toronto is also known as Hogtown; and, that the second sense of the word giddy is “overexcited as a result of success, pleasurable emotion, etc; mentally intoxicated.” I like that. Mentally intoxicated. I suppose if I were to say I was mentally intoxicated people would probably think that meant I was crazy. But hey, I already admitted to that. I am reading The Behemoth, after all. I find that there are a lot of words that mean the same as something else, but are just a more interesting way of saying it.

Like one of my favourites from the past few weeks: intestinal fortitude. It’s just another way of saying courage or guts, but it’s more unique. It nearly slipped right past me as one of the many mundane words because it sort of sounds like a medical term until you pause and think about it and realize hot damn!  it’s basically awesome.

Sorry. I really wanted to throw hot damn in there because I wanted to bring to light that it’s another term worthy of space in the dictionary, being defined as “expressing admiration.” I’m right close to half way through The Behemoth and I still have a soft spot for the silly and surprising words that get to take up space in this big book of the English language.

Now, let’s talk about something important…. The dance floor. It’s the place you bust out your wild and wacky moves and get your body grooving. Anything goes: the shopping cart, the sprinkler, the ChaCha, even head banging and high kicking have their place (as those who’ve seen me on the dance floor well know). But don’t think that you should try the ever popular horizontal mambo out there. Because things would get a little awkward since that would mean you’re having sex on the dance floor. There’s a time and place. Okay. There are many times and many places. This just isn’t one of them. And don’t think you could get away with a knee-trembler either, meaning “an act of sexual intercourse between two people in a standing position.”

Aannd… moving on!

I need to talk about the ladies a bit.  First up we’ve got Lady Godiva who was an “English noblewoman, wife of Leofric, Earl of Merica. According to a 13th century legend, she agreed to her husband’s proposition that he would reduce some unpopular taxes if she rode naked on horseback through the marketplace of Coventry.” Well, well, well. I’m not actually too sure what I want to say about this. What a way to govern. So here’s a woman who’s willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the people. Contrasted with the guy who’s actually in power who makes decisions based on bets of humiliation. That involve his wife. He must have been a real winner.

Next, we have Lady Jane Grey who was the Queen of England for nine whole days in 1553. The Duke of Northumberland forced her to marry his son and persuaded the Protestant king Edward VI to declare that she should succeed to the throne rather than his Catholic half-sister Mary Tudor. She was deposed after 9 days of being Queen and later was executed to avoid possible rebellions by Protestants.

There is so much wrong with this. Her story starts with being forced to marry someone and ends with execution to avoid possible rebellions. Who kills someone over possible unrest? Over-react much? Obviously there’s more to this tiny blurb of history, but what a raw deal for Lady Jane Grey. She probably didn’t even want to be Queen either. Puts your own life into perspective a bit doesn’t it? I mean, you’re probably not royalty… but you’re also probably not being executed on a big “maybe.”

You know, when I read get even and it was defined as “achieve revenge,” I had thought that was a bit peculiar. As in revenge is something you achieve… like an A+ on your history paper. But after talking about Lady Jane Grey, I’m sure revenge would have felt like the greatest of all achievements to her.

And since we’re somewhat on the topic of great injustices… have you heard the term Hundred Flowers? This was when citizens of China, between 1956 and 1957, were told to voice their opinions of the Communist regime and then lo and behold after unrest and severe criticism of the regime, those who did voice their negative opinions, well they were persecuted. WTF? You asked for this! Literally. That’s like asking “does my ass look fat in these jeans?” then decking someone when they say “actually, yeah it does.” Why ask for an opinion if you don’t want to hear it? You just never can trust the government. But that’s not really my opinion on the government… Or is it?

Oh and no, your ass doesn’t look fat…

Now you don’t know if your ass looks fat or not. And if we were face to face, you’d probably be giving me the old hairy eyeball. Which means you’d be looking malevolently or threateningly at me through narrowed eyes so you’d be looking through your eyelashes…. Ah shucks – your ass doesn’t look fat. Sheesh. I just wanted an excuse to tell you about the hairy eyeball. You don’t need to have kittens about it. That meaning “be extremely upset, anxious or nervous.”

Alright folks, now that I have enlightened and insulted, I think I’ve really accomplished all I could with this post. Catch you next time.

Weeks 24-27 Stats

Starting Word: genetic engineering             Ending Word: Laberge, Lake

Total Pages: 849/1815                                     Ahead/Behind: -106

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