Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thesaurus Thoughts

Word choice is always fascinating. A friend recently mentioned how much she loved her dictionary, but I said that it is my thesaurus that I love. Back in my teaching days, we had to write out "referrals" when we sent a kid to the principal for discipline. The referral described why you were sending the kid to the principal, what he did, etc, and what action you took before sending the kid. I’m sure my principal got a kick out of my referrals, because I tried to make them more interesting and unique. How many ways can you say you "chewed out" the student. Well, get out your thesaurus and see. Just try looking up the word "scold." Besides "lecture" and "rebuke," I liked "raked him over the coals," or "had him on the carpet" or "had words with."
Different phrases and words certainly change the connotation and give a different mental picture.

Yesterday while reading through the blogs, I was listening to GMA. They reported on the death of Casey Johnson, heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. The needless death of a young person is always sad, but what struck me as odd in the news report was the words. Robin Roberts reported that Casey had a drug problem, that her parents had "cut her off", and that she was "living in squalor." Then GMA reported that Casey’s body was found (on whatever day) by "her maid". While GMA was focused on Casey’s parents "cutting her off," I was focused on having a maid and "living in squalor." Makes you wonder what GMA thinks "squalor" is.

Anyway, I had a great day at art with the Painted Ladies. The day was fairly warm in the 40’s – kind of the calm before the storm. Early this morning the cold front hit. The wind blew – or should I say howled, roared, gusted, whipped, whirled, blew my socks off, etc. None of those words do this wind justice.

Later today, I will post what I painted with the Ladies. They need some touching up, working over, revising, finishing, polish, etc.

Did I mention that my husband turns another year older today? Happy birthday, baby!


joyce said...

you are so funny, amusing, entertaining, witty...

AirmanMom said...

Happy Birthday Mr. Bag Blog!
I often wonder, Do people ever listen to themselves?
Ahhh...if they did, the world would be less amusing!
Great post...again!

Mrs. Bear said...

Honestly I don't think the "living in squalor" that was reported is anything like I would refer to squalor in the natural...but in the spirit I think this young lady was living in a life that I would consider worse than squalor. As I go through our check book and wonder how to get Erin situated in school I wonder how could a person like the Johnson girl be so unhappy...not that money make you happy...but the stress of making things "fit" is hard!!! I'm hoping in three years to look back and say such words as wow, awesome, unbelievable, yeah, finished!!!!

Buck said...

Happy Birthday, Toby!

That cold front blew into P-Ville last night, too. The Ol RV was really rockin' and rollin' for a good solid three hours last night. And it's colder than the proverbial witch's mammary today. (Full disclosure: I did NOT use the thesaurus for my last.)

Bag Blog said...

Buck, you may not have used the thesaurus, but I bet it would be interesting. Personally, I like colder than a "well-digger's A$$."

Anny, good point about living in squalor - poor in spirit.

Airman Mom, I think the media just tries to think up words to hype their stories; never thinking how it really sounds. Maybe they think the public is not smart enough to notice.

Joyce, thanks - such a simple word to men so much.

Buckskins Rule said...

I love the thesauras. Keeps the vocabulary level up.

I suspect that GMA used the word "squalor" because she only had one maid. With that said, on some level it's rather sad. Although I have a hard time feeling for people who have the world handed to them on a platter, yet fritter the opportunities away, while the rest of us scrabble to just survive some days.

Jerry in Indiana said...

I just found your blog via Straight White Guy's. Nice to find an Okie blog. I used to live in Tulsa for 11 years and loved it.

Nice blog you got there!

Bag Blog said...

Hi Jerry, It is always good to have new people drop by. I have seen you around the blog-o-sphere and will probably see you again at Eric's. You are welcome here anytime.

Towanda said...

Wow -- I feel like I am back in high school and I just read a page of Roget's Thesaurus for homework!