Dictionary Challenge Week 20: All Good Things Come to an End

In the wise words of Nelly Furtado… all good things come to an end. So, I included a little video below so you can hear Nelly Furtado elaborate on this a little bit. Go ahead. Press play.

Now scratch the part about lovers and friends. Why? Because I never loved Bertie The Behemoth (which is what I have decided to name my hulking companion) and we are not friends despite this constant companionship. And also, the “good thing that is coming to an end” isn’t Bertie The Behemoth, but my once glorious comeback about demolishing her.

Yup. I have not broken even yet, but over the last 8 weeks I have been steadfastly digging myself out of the egregious hole I had dug for myself with this challenge (that being the attempt to read the Canadian Oxford Dictionary in under a year by keeping a schedule of reading 35 pages a week, which I had fallen pitifully behind on.)

That’s two months. And I have to bite, claw and fight every inch of the way back to par. This week the comeback stopped. I really tried to fight to keep the comeback going, but I have to be honest… I’m tired.

I’m really, really tired.

Do I stop? Do I just walk away and pretend I never tried at all?

I could.

And some days I really consider it. Some days I want to quit. Some days I want to light a match and watch The Behemoth go up in flames. (And book burning is something I do not take lightly at all…)

But then the sun rises again, I pour a cup of coffee, and I crack open The Behemoth. Some days I win, some days I lose, but all I can do is take each loss and each win and stack them up day by day until I reach the end. It is, after all, up to me whether I make it to the end at all. And when or if I do, I’m not so sure how I’ve been defining success and failure is going to be quite right.

And speaking of defining…

Clearly the challenge itself is always on my mind, so I have found that many of the words that jump out at me and I end up scribbling down are related to the experience or how I feel about myself during this challenge. As in.. I consider myself a fantast with a fighting chance despite my false start at the beginning of this fandangle in which I am trying to fight the good fight and avoid a fiasco… but maybe I’m just a fanatic who is trying to avoid a facile way of living and in doing so made an unfortunate faux pas.

But I guess not everything is about me. Right?

Fantast – a visionary; a dreamer

Fighting chance – an opportunity of succeeding by great effort

False start – an unsuccessful attempt to begin something

Fandangle – (in sense 2) nonsense, tomfoolery

Fight the good fight – act with strong commitment to a worthy cause

Fiasco – a complete and utter failure

Fanatic – (in sense 1) a person filled with excessive and often misguided enthusiasm for something

Facile – (in sense 1 a) easily obtained or achieved and so not highly valued

Faux pas – (in sense 1) a tactless mistake; a blunder

This week I also came across a few quite powerful words. Fie being one of them. It comes from Old French from Latin and is an exclamation of disgust at a stench. That right there is powerful. Because you don’t use the word stench lightly. You could use fetid or fetor and they both relatively mean something stinky. But when you whip out the big guns and say “stench” you know that is an utterly devastating smell. Plus, fie is such a hard, short word…. I can’t wait for someone to fart so I can raise my fist to the heavens and shout an impassioned FIE!

But back to fetor. That’s also kind of a fun definition, that definition being “an offensive smell.” So it’s a bit more than just stinky. It’s offensive. Just picture yourself letting a big one rip right by a high society lady who instantly becomes offended by your fetor and curses discreetly under her breath… “fie.”

Because it’s unbecoming to use actual curse words. And to shout.

Ah. Okay, enough of this fible-fable (nonsense). Find me on facebook or twitter  or subscribe over to the right of this page to follow along as I keep trying to fight the good fight… for the moment.

Week 20 Stats

Starting Word: F                   Ending Word: fighting fish

Total Pages: 551/1815         Ahead/Behind: -154

Dictionary Challenge Week 13: Down with the All-Day Breakfast

I’m not picking any favourites this week. Instead, I want to share my thoughts on some of the contents of the 47 pages I read. So saddle up for this ride.

No PancakesThe subject of breakfast can be pretty contentious. Some people could eat breakfast morning, noon and night.. but I am not one of those people. I just prefer lunch foods. My dining companion, unfortunately, is all about breakfast. But now I get to throw the dictionary down in a glorious over-dramatic mic drop fashion… because breakfast is defined as the first meal of the day. That’s it. Once you’ve eaten, you can’t go back. You can’t re-break the fast of the night. There is only one breakfast per day. Down with the all-day breakfast! No more shall we have pancakes at 6 pm! No eggs for lunch! No bacon… wait, actually, yes. Bacon all the time. (There’s always an exception.)

Also of importance is that the slang version of breakfast is spelled brekkie. I really thought it would be breaky.

Now I gotta talk dinosaur for a moment. Dinosaurs in general are just awesome. I probably wouldn’t think that if I existed back in their day or found myself cowering under the counter while raptors prowled the premises. I never thought the brontosaurus was the most awesome of the dinosaurs (I’ve always wanted to physically be able to fly so of course I’m a pterodactyl kinda gal. I know… I’ll never be able to fly.) but! Brontosaurus comes from Latin, bronte meaning thunder and sauros meaning lizard, so put it all together and you got one brobdingnagian THUNDER LIZARD! Oh yeah. That sounds pretty damn cool.

Oh, are you wondering about brobdingnagian? Yeah that means gigantic, colossal. It’s a bit of a mouthful.

But let’s not dwell on that. There are more important things ahead! As in the definition for brunette is a woman with dark brown hair. What about the men!? Naturally, there can be no dark brown-haired men in the world if the dictionary hasn’t allowed for it. I kid. I’ve noticed a huge gap in words that are designated for women or men only, despite that there are aren’t just bat boys, but also bat girls even though only bat boy exists in the dictionary or how a ballerina is defined as a female ballet dancer, but the men have no distinctive title and must exist under the non specific title of ballet dancer. There’s a bigger can of worms to be opened here, but this is as far as I’ll go… today.

Okay, actually just one last delve into this topic. Bombshell.

  1. An overwhelming surprise or disappointment
  2. An artillery bomb
  3. An attractive woman

What do these three things have in common? Really. You tell me. An attractive woman is a disappointment? Or it’s surprising to find a really attractive woman? Or when you see an attractive woman, you’ll be bombed which will at first be a surprise and then, of course, be quite the disappointment.

I do find it pretty interesting how words gain multiple meanings.

But now, I’ll wrap things up with some fun stuff. Like the phrase ‘go bush’ meaning leave one’s usual surroundings; run wild. And I like that. But then again, I always have a romantic notion of running wild and being free so of course I’d like this one. I’ve also finished up with the B section and am now in the Cs. So here’s my first C word that I like: cahoots. It just sounds so cute. Well, the cute way of saying in collusion. Which is a lot less cute. But when you pull out ‘cahoots’ you can only really use it to describe the neighbourhood kids planning an elaborate plan to retrieve an autographed ball from the yard of a terrifying beast of a dog.

I also like canoodle (kiss and cuddle amorously)…. both the word and the doing.

What I don’t like, at least the idea of, is cantharides. Which I just learned about. This is a preparation made from dried bodies of a particular type of beetle, causing blistering of the skin and formerly used in medicine and sometimes taken as an aphrodisiac. I think I just heard you all say WTF right along with me. Perhaps this is where S&M began. No, don’t think about that. Don’t think about it! This is kind of like when you think of stuff like the first person who thought jumping out of a plane was a good idea or the first person to risk a heart transplant. Potentially fatal, but someone had to do it right? Hopefully the blister beetle lessons have been learned.

Anyways, that wraps up week thirteen. The good news is that I haven’t fallen further behind. This was my most successful week and I managed to make a few pages of a comeback. Which was actually disheartening because I buckled down and put in a lot of time this week and though I read almost 50 pages, I only came out of the hole by about 15. In other (probably not) interesting news… I have read 230 pages altogether and I am also behind by 230 pages. So. There’s that.

Week Thirteen Stats

Starting Word: Break dancing            Ending Word: Cargo Cult

Total Pages 230/1815                           Ahead/Behind: – 230