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Posts Tagged ‘Gail’

Good Advice

Good Advice

Be prepared, you won’t be shocked!! Today the movies, cable TV shows and comedians have no holds barred when it comes to using foul language, bathroom humor, swearing a blue streak;  There are no boundaries…  Well it wasn’t always like that and thanks to Pbenjay’s favorite sourcerer, Gail, I received a link to an article about this very subject.

So let’s step back in time…Here’s a little background that I took from the Mental Floss website.

As long ago as 1944, H.L. Mencken, the great observer of American language, sadly noted that cursing had been on the decline since the Civil War, and that while there was still obscenity, “it is all based upon one or two four-letter words and their derivatives, and there is little true profanity in it.”

Taboos against what we would today consider pretty mild exclamations like “damn!” “hell!” and “Jesus Christ!” led the swearers of years past to come up with creative substitutions that gave them some measure of emotional release while keeping within the bounds of propriety. These substitutions are called “minced oaths,” and they’ve left their mark on our vocabulary. Gosh, gee, golly, dagnamit, darn, drat, gadzooks, zounds, heck, and cripes are all minced oaths that are still around to charm us with their innocent old-timey ring. But there are others you may not have heard of. They could come in handy when you get tired of ho-hum obscenity and want something with a little more profane zing.

1. BEJABBERS!

A substitute for “by Jesus!” that is similar to “bejesus!” but jabbier. An Irish import, along the lines of “faith and begorrah!” Especially good for toe-stubbing.

2. CONSARN!

A substitute for “goddamn.” From an 1854 Dictionary of Northamptonshire words: “Consarn you! If you don’t mind what you’re about I’ll give it to you!” Slow down and hit both syllables equally hard, and it’s like squeezing a stress ball.

3. DAD-SIZZLE!

Another “goddamn” form. “Well, dad-sizzle it!” was one way to show you meant business. There were a whole range of “dad” forms, from “dadgum” to dad-blast, dad-seize, dad-rat, dad-swamp, and many more. This one sounds surprisingly modern, like something Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion?) might come up with.

4. THUNDERATION!

A substitute for “damnation,” similar to “tarnation” and “botheration.” WTF is so tired. Try “What in thunderation?” instead.

5. GREAT HORN SPOON!

Something you can swear by, used in a way similar to “by God!” It seems to have come from seafaring slang, and might refer to the Big Dipper. But you don’t need to know the origin to find it useful. Today the strange randomness of the words makes it feel mystically satisfying to shout.

6. ‘SNAILS!

A shortening of “by God’s nails!” This kind of shortening also gave us “zounds!” (God’s wounds), “Gadzooks!” (God’s hooks), “strewth!” (God’s truth), and “ods bodikins!” (God’s little body). If you yell it thinking of actual snails instead, it’s less profane, but more adorable.

7. GOSH-ALL-POTOMAC!

This one goes along with the rest of the “gosh all” family: goshamighty, gosh-all-hemlock, gosh all fish-hooks, etc. “Gosh all Potomac” is the earliest one attested in the Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles, and it’s about time we brought it back.

8. G. ROVER CRIPES!

One of the minced oaths that approximate the sounds in “Jesus Christ!” it uses all the strategies found elsewhere: the “gee” sound (Gee! Jeepers! Jeez!), the middle name (Jesus H. Particular Christ!), and the “cr” sound (Crikey! Criminy! Cracky! Christmas!).

9. BY ST. BOOGAR AND ALL THE SAINTS AT THE BACKSIDE DOOR OF PURGATORY!

There is no St. Boogar. This is a line from Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, considered by scholars to have a homoerotic subtext. Let it fly with pride!

10. BY THE DOUBLE-BARRELLED JUMPING JIMINETTY!

It’s too bad the tradition of productive, long “by the” swears has fallen out of fashion. You could load enough crazy-sounding nonsense on there to really scare your kids into cleaning their rooms.

Some of the “swears” I heard growing up were “Fiddlesticks”, the ususal God damn and I was always especially impressed with my Uncle Henry’s ” Judas Priest”.  I think my kids will have a much more extensive memory including the likes of “Holy Mother of God”, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph”.

If you’ve got any “good” ones you’d like to share, please do.

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Some of my readers know all about my Magical Mystery Tours because they have been included on them.  However, for those of you who are thinking “Whoa there, is this about LSD or shroom tea”, the answer is no, nothing of the sort.  A Magical Mystery Tour is an adventure,  a trip to a place you never knew about and it could practically be in your back yard.  An MMT is guaranteed to be a surprise to those invited along and sure to please.

My first Magical Mystery Tour was to take my husband on a trip to Journal Square in Jersey City.  I told him to meet me at Macy’s on 34th St.  Then I led him down a side street and into a large building that housed (of all things) The Manhattan Mall. That was his first shock because he had never heard of this place sitting around the corner from Herald Square. It was merely a decoy trip – we went up an escalator, walked past some stores that you couldn’t imagine being there and then down another escalator to the first floor and down again!  The second escalator down brought us into a subway station.  I led him over to the PATH train section and we bought ticket to board a train to New Jersey.  At this point he was getting nervous;  after all, it was night time and I was taking him to New Jersey!  We got off the train at Journal Square and the station looked large and unfamiliar – not like the subway stations we were used to in Manhattan.  I led him out of the station, across a large open  space where all the stores were closed (it was a little off-putting) and then across a wide main street.  He still didn’t “see” where we were headed until we were almost on top of it.  There, in all its faded glory stood a Loew’s Movie Palace.  We paid a mere $6.00 each and entered in a world of glory days gone by.  I had never been in a movie palace before, they didn’t exist where I grew up.  It was magnificent even in its state of disheveled rehabilitation.  Peter marveled that this treasure still existed and that it was slowly and painstakingly being brought  back to its former glory.

Lowe's Jersey Movie Palace

Lowe’s Jersey Movie Palace

We repeated that trip a few times, bringing unsuspecting friends on their own MMT and relishing their surprise and joy at discovering this treasure.  Since then over the years I’ve taken Peter on other Magical Mystery Tours and we just returned home  from the latest;

Today we went to a secret bookshop in Manhattan!  And it was in our neighborhood and who knew?  Well actually I knew  about it because Gail, my own secret sourcer-er, sent me an article about a secret bookshop about a year ago.  She even suggested that it would make a great Magical Mystery Tour. A man was running a bookshop out of an apartment.  It was on the Upper East Side and not exactly legal.  It was his own apartment at one time, that is until the books began to overrun the place;  he had owned a book store down the street but lost the lease and moved his inventory into his home.  He also continued to indulge in one of his passions – buying books!  Eventually the apartment became a warehouse for his books and his continued purchases.

I did research and finally found out his name but not his address.  I looked up a couple of articles written about him but they  always omitted his name and whereabouts WHICH is exactly what I’m going to do!  I found a phone number and periodically called and left messages to no avail – I never got a return call.  I tracked down the author of one of the articles and she gave me his email address, so of course I wrote, but never got a reply.  A month or so ago, Gail found out that he was on FB and I should look up his page and “LIKE” it and maybe send him a message there.  I did and WOWIE – after a month I received a reply.  I was shocked and thrilled!  He gave me his hours, his address and his cell phone number!  Oh boy, I was in business now!

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

I made an appointment for this afternoon and marked our calendar with MMT so Peter would keep the afternoon free!  Well, walking over there and not knowing exactly what to expect was a little scary.  But I rang the bell with unmarked (yes) name and we were buzzed in.  This is what we saw!  We were warmly greeted by _______ and welcomed to his idiosyncratic bookshop.  Books, books, books and more books!  Books on shelves, books in bookcases, books piled on tables, books piled on the floor, books on top of books – it was a melange of mysteries, a passel of paperbacks, a bounty of biographies, and chock full of fiction!  A literary paradise, a candy store for bibliophiles. 

We spent over an hour just gazing at shelves and grazing through the titles.  We didn’t buy anything today but will certainly return, perhaps even to participate in one of his “salons”.  There’s no need for advertising, this place is strictly WOM.

I’m sure you’re intrigued and are dying to know where this secret place is but I have to tell you, my lips are sealed!

MORE BOOKS

MORE BOOKS

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, look at this one!  It looks like a bird, but it doesn’t fly.  It looks like a parrot and it can talk.  A word to the wise…Things Are Not Always What They Appear To Be.  

Let me know in a comment what you think this is really a picture of????

A shout-out and thanks to Gail for sending me this photo – pretty amazing!

What Am I?

What Am I?

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We have to get silly every once in a while at least that’s what my husband reminds me.  I’m much more serious than I should be and I wish I had my sister-in-law Juanita’s capacity to laugh and laugh heartily.  She really has the most contagious laugh!  So today I giving you at least 10 totally useless facts to do with what you will.  Next time you’re at a cocktail party and need to start a conversation, maybe one of these will spark the talk.  Thanks to my consistent content contributor, Gail – she sent me this Buzz Feed post.  I have just decided to put initials after Gail’s name;  From now on she’s Gail C.C.C. !

  1. The founders of Hewlett-Packard flipped a coin to see whose name would come first in the company’s name.
  2. People with higher incomes prefer their toilet paper to roll from the top whereas people with lower incomes prefer it to roll out from the bottom.  In a 1989 book, Barry Sinrod and Mel Poretz revealed that 60% of people making more than $50,000 a year preferred the toilet paper to come over the roll, while 73% of those making under $20,000 preferred it to go under.   

    Toilet paper Español: Papel higiénico

    Toilet paper 

  3. The lint that collects at the bottom of your pocket actually has a name, gnurr.
  4. Some animals like the Western Spotted Skunk are able to delay their pregnancies for months.  In these cases, the embryos cease developing for a certain period of time before attaching to the uterine wall. Other animals with types of delayed pregnancies include otters and kangaroos.  
  5. Sigmund Freud once believed that Cocaine could be used to treat Morphine addiction.
  6. Flamingos get their color from the carotenoid pigments in the foods that they eat, like algae and shrimp.  Once their feathers shed, they quickly lose their color.   

    Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink

  7. The line between the two numbers in a fraction is called the vinculum.
  8. The U.S. pizza industry serves up to 100 acres of pizza every day.  GTY_pizza_dm_130807_16x9_608
  9. If you type in 52.376552, 5.198303 on Google Maps, you can see what is allegedly two guys dragging a dead body into a lake. 
  10. A standard 3×3 Rubik’s Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations.  

    Go Figure…

    Go Figure…

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Today is Gail’s birthday and although this is pretty late in the day, as long as I post this before midnight, I figure it counts.

My friend, Gail, who I have referred to in so many blogs has been a terrific supporter of Pbenjay as well as a consistent commenter.  I’ve asked her a couple of times to actually contribute a blog post, however, so far she has declined.  Maybe if you all write in and yell Gail, Gail…, she will!!

Besides dispensing invaluable advice and guidance in this venture as well as my other endeavor, PRESSents (more about that later), Gail sends me a variety of articles and ideas for blog posts, gift ideas and more.  I have a personal clipping service – and that’s pretty neat.

She is always encouraging me to stretch, go forward and take this to the next step-although we’re not quite sure what that next step would be, but we’re working on it, especially over a glass of wine.

I received some of the best and cleverest birthday cards from her and since I haven’t been in a decent card shop in ages, clearly she did not receive the same.  So Gail, when you read this, please know this is my very special birthday card to you

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAIL

Gail's birthday cake

Happy Birthday Gail

 

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Once upon a time…this is how most fairy tales begin but not so with this one.  A few days after The Wedding of Prince William and his beloved Kate, my friend Gail called me with an interesting idea.  I can’t remember whether or not she read about it or if  someone she knew told her about a British tradition associated with a royal wedding.  Apparently, it’s a custom for the Queen to reply to well-wishers who send a note of congratulations to her on the occasion of her grandson’s wedding.  One of the Queen’s Ladies in Waiting will send a thank-you note.  As Gail said, “this is right up your alley”!

And she was right;  not only did I decide to write a note in my name, I also wrote one in Finley’s name.   I thought it would be a wonderful keepsake for her.  I had my doubts that we would ever receive a reply and a couple of times I meant to mention it to Chiara because I was afraid she might toss the envelope out as junk mail.   Well weeks went by and I forgot about the letters. 

Today my daughter called and said, “Have you seen Facebook“? I hadn’t so I  got on the computer while Chiara was telling me how amazing it was that Finley Ray had received a Thank-you note from the Queen of England!  I screamed!!!  Chiara had posted the letter on Facebook thinking that maybe Finley’s dad, Tom, had a hand in this.   “No, it was me”! I was so happy it had actually arrived and on Facebook, it’s  getting a lot comments.

Well I can’t wait to see if my response has arrived.  I have a week’s worth of mail to go through when I get home.  And I better tell Peter so he doesn’t think it’s some junk mail!

Here is the letter, I hope they frame it and save it for Finny;  direct from Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace, Ladies in Waiting, Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth Thanks Finley Ray

Thank you Queen Elizabeth!

Thank you Gail!

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Epic Fail

Image via Wikipedia

I was really excited when I saw the subject line of an email I received from my friend, Gail; you know, my chief contributor of fact, fiction, trivia and minutia!  I went to the site, read it and experienced an AHA MOMENT, I thought great; Let’s end 2010 by banishing certain over-used, mis-used and conf-used words.  Here is the list compiled by Lake Superior State University. I’M JUST SAYIN this list has the WOW FACTOR and by publishing it, I hope my blog goes VIRAL, read by all the MAMA GRIZZLIES, that I get an EPIC number of hits. I’m going to GOOGLE and FACEBOOK it and if read by all THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, it surely will not be a FAIL. And as we enter into a new year, I do hope all of you will LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!

VIRAL

“Often used to describe the spreading of items on the Internet i.e. ‘The video went viral.’ It is overused. I have no objection to this word’s use as a way to differentiate a (viral) illness from bacterial.” Jim Cance, Plainwell, Mich.

“This linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined.” Kuahmel Allah, Los Angeles, Calif.

“Events, photographs, written pieces and even occasional videos that attracted a great deal of attention once were simply highly publicized, repeated in news broadcasts, and talked about for a few days. Now, however, it is no longer enough to give such offerings their 15 minutes of fame, but they must be declared to ‘go viral.’ As a result, any mindless stunt or vapid bit of writing is sent by its creators whirling around the Internet and, once whirled, its creators declare it (trumpets here) ‘viral!’ Enough already! If anything is to be declared worthy enough to ‘go viral,’ clearly it should be the LSSU Banished Words list for 2011!” Lawrence Mickel, Coventry, Conn.

“I knew it was time when the 2010 list of banished words appeared in Time magazine’s, ‘That Viral Thing’ column.” Dave Schaefer, Glenview, Ill.

“I didn’t mind much when ‘viral’ came to mean an under-handed tactic by advertising companies to make their ads look like pop culture. However, now anything that becomes popular on YouTube is suddenly ‘viral.’ I just don’t get it.” Kevin Wood, Wallacetown, Ont.

“Every time I see a viral video on CNN or am asked to ‘Let’s go viral with this’ in another lame e-mail forwarded message, it makes me sick.” Lian Schmidt, Bandon, Ore.

EPIC

More than one nominator says the use of ‘epic’ has become an epic annoyance.

Cecil B. DeMille movies are epic. Internet fall-outs and opinions delivered in caps-lock are not. ‘Epic fail,’ ‘epic win’, ‘epic (noun)’ — it doesn’t matter; it needs to be banished until people recognize that echoing trite, hyperbolic Internet phrases in an effort to look witty or intelligent actually achieves the opposite.” Kim U., Des Moines, Iowa.

“Over-use of the word ‘epic’ has reached epic proportions. Tim Blaney, Snoqualmie, Wash.

“Anything that this word describes in popular over-usage is rarely ever ‘epic’ in the traditional sense of being heroic, majestic, or just plain awe-inspiring.” Mel F., Dallas, Tex.

“Standards for using ‘epic’ are so low, even ‘awesome’ is embarrassed.” Mike of Kettering, Ohio.

“I’m sure that when the history books are written or updated and stories have been passed through the generations, the epic powder on the slopes during your last ski trip or your participation in last night’s epic flash mob will probably not be included. This may be the root of this epic problem, but it seems as if during the past two years, any idea that was not successful was considered an ‘epic-fail.’ This includes the PowerPoint presentation you tried to give during this morning’s meeting, but couldn’t because of technical problems. Also, the ice storm of ‘epic proportions’ that is blanketing the east coast this winter sure looks a lot like the storm that happened last winter.” DV, Seattle, Wash.

FAIL

One nominator says, “what originally may have been a term for a stockbroker’s default is now abused by today’s youth as virtually any kind of ‘failure.’ Whether it is someone tripping, a car accident, a costumed character scaring the living daylights out a kid, or just a poor choice in fashion, these people drive me crazy thinking that anything that is a mistake is a ‘fail.’ They fail proper language!”

“Fail is not a noun. It is not an adjective. It is a verb. If this word is not banned, then this entire word banishment system is full of FAIL. (Now doesn’t that just sound silly?)” Daniel of Carrollton, Georgia.

“When FAILblog.org went up, it was a funny way to view videos of unfortunate people in unfortunate situations. The word fail is now used by people, very often just to tease others, when they ‘FAIL.’ Any time you screw up in life — a trip up the stairs, a bump into a wall, or a Freudian slip, you get that word thrown in your face.” Tyler Lynch, Washington, Iowa.

“Mis-used. Over-used. Used with complete disregard to the ‘epic’ weight of the word. Silence obnoxious reality TV personalities and sullen, anti-establishment teenagers everywhere by banishing this word.” Natalie of Burlington, Ont.

“It has taken over blogs, photo captions, ‘status’ comments. Anytime someone does something less than perfect, we have to read ‘FAIL!’ The word has failed us all.” Aaron Yunker, Ishpeming, Mich.

WOW FACTOR

“This buzzword is served up with a heaping of cliché factor and a side order of irritation. But the lemmings from cable-TV cooking, whatever design and fashion shows keep dishing it out. I miss the old days when ‘factor’ was only on the math-and-science menu.” Dan Muldoon, Omaha, Neb.

“Done-to-death phrase to point out something with a somewhat significantly appealing appearance.” Ann Pepper, Knoxville, Tenn.

A-HA MOMENT

“All this means is a point at which you understand something or something becomes clearer. Why can’t you just say that?” Audrey Mayo, Killeen, Tex.

BACK STORY

“This should be on the list of words that don’t need to exist because a perfectly good word has been used for years. In this case, the word is ‘history,’ or, for those who must be weaned, ‘story.'” Jeff Williams, Sherwood, Ariz.

BFF

“These chicks call each other BFF (Best Friends Forever) and it lasts about 10 minutes. Now there’s BFFA (Best Friends For Awhile), which makes more sense.” Clare Rabe Forgach, Ft. Collins, Colo.

MAN UP

“A stupid phrase when directed at men. Even more stupid when directed at a woman, as in ‘Alexis, you need to man up and join that Pilates class!'” Sherry Edwards, Clarkston, Mich.

“Another case of ‘verbing’ a noun and ending with a preposition that goes nowhere. Not only that, the phrase is insulting, especially when voiced by a female, who’d never think to say, ‘Woman up!'” Aunt Shecky, East Greenbush, NY.

“Can a woman ‘man-up,’ or would she be expected to ‘woman-up?'” Jay Leslie, Portland, Maine.

“Not just overused (a 2010 top word according to the Global Language Monitor) but bullying and sexist.” Christopher K. Philippo, Glenmont, NY.

“We had to put up with ‘lawyer up.’ Now ‘man up,’ too? A chest-thumping cultural regression fit for frat boys stacking beer glasses.” Craig Chalquist Ph.D., Walnut Creek, Calif.

REFUDIATE

“Adding this word to the English language simply because a part-time politician lacks a spell checker on her cell phone is an action that needs to be repudiated.” Dale Humphreys, Muskegon, Mich.

Kuahmel Allah of Los Angeles, Calif. wants to banish what he called ‘Sarah Palin-isms’: “Let’s ‘refudiate’ them on the double!”

MAMA GRIZZLIES

“Unless you are referring to a scientific study of Ursus arctos horribilis , this analogy of right-wing female politicians should rest in peace.” Mark Carlson, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

“These politicians in Congress say ‘the American People’ as part of what seems like every statement they make! I see that others have noticed it, too, as various websites abound, including an entry on Wikipedia.” Paul M. Girouard, St. Louis, Mo.

“No one in Washington can pontificate for more than two sentences without using it. Beyond overuse, these people imply that ‘the American people’ want/expect/demand all the same things. They don’t.” Dick Hilker, Loveland, Colo.

“Aren’t all Americans people? Every political speech refers to the ‘American’ people as if simply saying ‘Americans’ (or ‘people’) is not enough.” Deb Faust, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

I’M JUST SAYIN’

“‘A phrase used to diffuse any ill feelings caused by a preceded remark,’ according to the Urban Dictionary. Do we really need a qualifier at the end of every sentence? People feel uncomfortable with a comment that was made and then ‘just sayin” comes rolling off the tongue? It really doesn’t change what was said, I’m just sayin’.” Becky of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“I’m just sayin’…’I’m not sayin”’…Actually, you ARE saying…A watered-down version of what I just said or intended to say….SAY what you are saying. DON’T SAY what you aren’t saying.” Julio Appling, Vancouver, Wash.

“Obviously you are saying it…you just said it!” Catherine Wilson, Granger, Ind.

“And we would never have known if you hadn’t told us.” Bob Forrest, Tempe, Ariz.

“When a 24-hour news network had the misguided notion to brand this phrase as a commentary segment called, ‘Just sayin’, I thought I was going to wretch.” Casey Conroy, Pleasant Hill, Calif.

FACEBOOK / GOOGLE as verbs

“Facebook is a great, addicting website. Google is a great search engine. However, their use as verbs causes some deep problems. As bad as they are, the trend can only get worse, i.e. ‘I’m going to Twitter a few people, then Yahoo the movie listings and maybe Amazon a book or two.” Jordan of Waterloo, Ont.

LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST

“It’s an absurdity followed by a redundancy. First, things are full or they’re not; there is no fullest. Second, ‘live life’ is redundant. Finally, the expression is nauseatingly overused. What’s wrong with enjoying life fully or completely? The phrase makes me gag. I’m surprised it hasn’t appeared on the list before.” Sylvia Hall, Williamsport, Penn.

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