Monday, October 8, 2007

Nerd Girl Word Freak

Few things give me more geekish pleasure than stumbling across a word that sends me scrambling for my dictionary.


So, there I was, minding my own business when, WHAM! This woman being quoted in an article about how the "Shanghai Tunnels" under downtown Portland may have a much less sinister history after all whips out this magnificent beauty from her own personal lexicon.

And now, I present to you, the word of the day:

obfuscate: 1. To make so confused as to be difficult to understand. 2. To render indistinct or dim.

Pronunciation? The "o" is short, the "u" is a schwa... you know the sound made by that funny upside-down "e" thing. C'mon, people, "SCHWA!" It's First Grade English.

Thank you, Jacqueline Peterson Loomis, for your outstanding contribution in the ongoing fight to keep delicious, tantalizingly archaic words alive in the age of Newspeak.

And with that, I had better cease and desist lest I belabor the point into obfuscation... ahhhh... nice!


Lisa said...

I'm kind of a word geek too. The problem with that, though, is if you regularly use words with more than two syllables in conversation with the average person, they look at you like they have no idea what you are talking about or that you are trying to sound too intellectual.

Obfuscate *is* a rather nice word.

Angelina said...

That one's a beauty. The whole "schwa" bit really confused me and I just had to jump into my unabridged dictionary to find out all about "schwa". I think I get it now.

I love words.

I'm so glad you do too. (and Lisa B.)

Angeleen said...

L: I KNOW what you mean. You can be freakishly gifted at math and no one has to know. But when words are your thing... not that I feel the need to hide it obviously, but people definitely notice and often say something.

When I was in 7th grade a kid actually asked me if I sat around and read the dicitonary. Peasant.

A: I was so excited to get to use the word "schwa." It's not one that normally comes up in causal conversation and it's just so fun to say!


capello said...

i hear the "schwa".

Anonymous said...

OK. "schwa"!? First grade English?? I NEVER heard of either of those words. And I DID graduate grade school. :-) Now, THAT'S why YOU need to get over watching Surviver and go make yourself a MILLION on "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader"!

Lisa said...

Oh, I meant to ask you about Survivor, because I saw some printouts while we were at your house. Please tell me you are a Survivor fan, too!

Angeleen said...

Yes, Lisa, it's true.

It started innocently enough while I was pregnant and on bedrest with Grace second season.

We didn't watch it, but my in laws did. They would bring dinner and we'd watch Survivor together. It was so much fun we never wanted to stop.

Now, we alternate houses/dinner hosts. We have expanded further, however, into including the whole family and having a pool with each person drawing the name of a "character" to represent for the season. It's pretty fun. We don't all do dinner, though.

Courney needs to go.


Disrespectful, snotty little BAD Gwen Stefani knock-off...


Lisa said...

I can't stand Courtney. She should have gone before Leslie. I don't like Jean-Robert either, but they need him now because he is enormous. What was up with Courtney not being able to swing that sword? I couldn't believe she was so darn weak!

Angelina said...

I worked with a woman once who made a big deal about my vocabulary, which I hardly think is extensive, she used to say I "talked so fancy". All the time she would say this and it made me VERY uncomfortable.