Posts Tagged ‘wordplay’

…that I’m perfectly okay with:

  • ending sentences with prepositions, clearly
  • saying “all intensive purposes,” instead of “all intents and purposes” (makes sense to me!)
  • pronouncing “indictment” exactly the way it looks (usually just in my head)
  • not washing my fruit before I eat it
  • in the same vein, eating food off the floor if it drops (added bonus: it completely grosses out BNF)
  • not counting the tax when I tell someone about a deal I got (e.g. “The dress was on sale for less than $100 (not including tax)!”)

I’m sure there are (plenty) more, but for someone who likes to be right all the time even a short list like this is like a little bit of therapy – even if none of these “wrongs” have lasting impacts.

Except the fruit thing. I’m totally building up my immune system.

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And, as promised, the final Mad Libs versions. (See the first ones here.)

From Heather C:

A week from tomorrow, I’ll be attending my first of 16 races this season. This one, fully, will be in the parking lot, so I’ll quickly be taking advantage of the octagon while we’re there. I mean, who couldn’t use a little shoe and mug, right?

Aside from that, though, this race is for my Muffin’s best friend, so I know how smooth it is to him. And I know how excited and nervous he is to give his swingset. (I also think he’s secretly sad, that the couple’s duck, Nora, will be missing the festivities.)

I don’t reluctantly like when the colonial era fly by, but this time I’d be okay with it. Because that just puts us closer to running, typing, and educating in the parking lot. I can’t think of a better way to usher in May.

From inkpuddle:

A week from tomorrow, I’ll be attending my first of 23 funerals this season. This one, clumsily, will be in France, so I’ll heavily be taking advantage of the underwear while we’re there. I mean, who couldn’t use a little cheese and truck, right?

Aside from that, though, this funeral is for my Pookie’s best friend, so I know how squishy it is to him. And I know how excited and nervous he is to give his pillow case. (I also think he’s secretly sad, that the couple’s hamster, Orlando, will be missing the festivities.)

I don’t bravely like when the three years fly by, but this time I’d be okay with it. Because that just puts us closer to grabbing, yodeling, and jumping in France. I can’t think of a better way to usher in May.

And last, but not least, from Alice:

A week from tomorrow, I’ll be attending my first of 2/3 pie-eating contests this season. This one, grimly, will be in a port-a-potty, so I’ll languidly be taking advantage of the thumb drive while we’re there. I mean, who couldn’t use a little stomach and diamond earring, right?

Aside from that, though, this pie-eating contest is for my Snuggie Wuggums’ best friend, so I know how sparkly it is to him. And I know how excited and nervous he is to give his unicorn. (I also think he’s secretly sad, that the couple’s marmoset, Euclid, will be missing the festivities.)

I don’t wetly like when the Elizabethan era fly by, but this time I’d be okay with it. Because that just puts us closer to fainting, dueling, and drooping in a port-a-potty. I can’t think of a better way to usher in May.

Again, thank you guys for playing. I laughed out loud as I was filling some of these in. (I also gagged a little bit at the idea of a pie-eating contest in a port-a-potty, so, there’s that.) Hope you’re off to a good start for the week!

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You remember playing the game Mad Libs? Filling in the nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. and trying to make the story as ridiculous as possible? It was one time when you didn’t have to make sense. In fact, it was more fun when you didn’t.

For most people.

As you may have guessed, I always liked my stories to be coherent. I would try to guess where it was heading and choose my words accordingly. I know, I know. Barrels of fun, right over here.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I received the official invitation to my friend Gaff’s wedding. And the RSVP was in Mad Libs form! For instance, “ your names will be verb to join Gaff and Soon-to-be-Hubby as they verb down the aisle. When we verb, past tense the invitation…” and so on and so forth. I was torn between wanting to be creative, and wanting it to make sense. Which is why it took me nearly two weeks to fill it out and send it back. Sorry Gaff!

But it did inspire me. Maybe some of you aren’t as, oh, I don’t know, “control freak” as I am. Maybe you like to shake things up a bit. Maybe you don’t mind when your stories vary from the predicted path. So let’s try it together. You give me the words to fill out my mini-story, and I’ll post it tomorrow – with as many versions as you’ve given me.

Here’s what we need:

– number

– event

– adverb

– place

– adverb

– noun

– noun

– noun

– pet name (as though for a significant other)

– adjective

– noun

– animal

– name

– adverb

– period of time

– verb ending in -ing

– verb ending in -ing

– verb ending in -ing

Do it, to it! I can’t wait to see how it turns out…

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This weekend I’ll be heading home to Philly for a little Easter celebration.

Peeps Easter.JPG

And yes, that celebration still includes Easter baskets – complete with candy. The biggest difference between my Easter basket now, and as a kid, is that now they’ll often include a bottle of wine along with the chocolate. Does Mama the Easter Bunny know me, or what?

But, you know what else Easter means? Lent is over.

I wish this weren't so true...

I wish this weren't so true...

This year, I gave up M&Ms (I know that sounds random, but there’s a constantly full bowl right by the printer in my office) and swearing. I succeeded with the M&Ms. I tried really hard with the swearing.

For the first few weeks, I did a great job. I was saying a lot of “shoot,” “sugar,” “crap,” and “darn it!” I didn’t drop any f-bombs, and if I “needed” to say b-i-t-c-h, I said “brat” instead. And then…well, I don’t remember exactly when I started failing, but I’m pretty sure it was at a happy hour. Although, I didn’t give up hope immediately; I tried to get back on track.

My biggest realization? My vocabulary just isn’t big enough. (That, and I tend to swear more when I drink. Go figure.)

In any case, perhaps I’ll try it again next year. I hate failing not succeeding.

Or, wait for it…maybe I’ll even try it on a daily basis.

I don’t know – I don’t want to get too crazy here.

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Every morning at work I have to do an international news search. I use a database and cull through nearly 800 articles, skimming headlines and introductions , trying to find ones relevant to religion and international affairs.

Sometimes I’m presented with articles that seem completely out of touch with the search terms – like the one that claimed Scarlett Johansson is a clone.

Sometimes they’re about Hollywood in general, which is entertaining, but not inherently religious or international.

And sometimes, like today, I come across a headline that makes me realize I might not be mature enough for this job:

“Better to stay away from MILF deals”

Yeah, I know what it stands for in this context. But perhaps it’s sound advice more generally speaking?


I know this is old news. But it kind of fits my theory.

Just a thought.

Happy Friday!

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I’m not quite sure when it started, but our family has a tradition of following holiday meals with a game of some sort. In the past it’s been Cranium, SceneIt, Clue, Trivial Pursuit – you name it, we’ve played it. Occasionally, the games will even get a wee bit, ahem, heated – I come by my competitive streak honestly.

I think it’s safe to say that this Christmas we hit a whole new level.

After a few rousing rounds of Catch Phrase, we moved into the dining room for a game of Scrabble. My cousin, my uncle, and then teams of Mama & me, and Daddy & Jud. Everyone was doing well – we all grew up playing Scrabble and doing crossword puzzles with Mamie (my grandmother). And then Mama and I got a “Q” and started plotting how to use it most effectively. Oh, was that a Triple Word Score that just opened up? Why yes, yes it was. And down goes our word, two letters, thirty-three points: qi.

What? You don’t think it counts? That’s okay, neither did anyone in my family. (Except Mama – she totally had my back.)

This could have been us. Minus the swords. Although, that doesn't sound like nearly as much fun...

This could have been us. Minus the swords. Although, that doesn't sound like nearly as much fun...

In fact, I was getting yelled at, not just by my brother, whose competitive streak rivals mine, but also by my father, the usually calm voice of reason! He kept arguing that “qi” isn’t in his Scrabble dictionary (which, I recently found out, was published circa 1980 – and that’s generous) and that it wasn’t valid. Since I’m clearly too stubborn to take the word back so as to avoid a family feud, they challenged, and this is what we found from the official online Scrabble dictionary:

  • QI
    the vital force that in Chinese thought is inherent in all things

Oh, how I love to be right.

Fortunately, the game was over soon after that, a blessing, because unfortunately, even with the official ruling, my dad and brother were still acting like 10-year-olds who’d been cheated out of a win. I tried to let it drop, we drove home without mentioning it, and my brother (surprisingly enough) apologized later that night. I appreciated the apology, though I didn’t really need it, and I frankly forgot about it until yesterday.

Now remember, this happened on Christmas. As in, last Thursday.

Cut to Monday, around 5pm, just as I’m getting ready to leave the office. My phone rings, and I answer it professionally, even though I think I recognize one of my dad’s office numbers. Whew, it’s him. After a little chitchat about how AMAZING the Eagles game was, he says, “Well, I know you’re heading out, but I just wanted to apologize.” Huh?

Liebchen: “Apologize for what? Should I be mad at you?”

Daddy: “For the Scrabble game. I shouldn’t have acted like that. I’m just used to the old school rules and dictionary.”

Liebchen: “Really? It’s okay. I’d completely forgotten about that by this point.”


Liebchen: “Wait a minute. You thought I was still mad at you and you waited ’til NOW to apologize?”

Daddy: “Yeah, I had to think about it.”

Hm. Well, apparently I come by my stubborn streak honestly, too.

Stubborn and competitive – this can only end in tears.

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My parents, like most, I’m assuming (God, please don’t let it just be mine), absolutely loved messing with my head while I was growing up (in the nicest, most let’s-make-parenting-a-little-more-fun way possible, of course). Considering that they still like to mess with me, this list of “sure-fired ways to lie to/confuse your children” could conceivably grow. But, for now:

1) My parents speak in abbrevs.

No, they don’t LOL, say OMG, or even WTF (although I’m trying to get that one to catch on). They abbreviate, well, anything. It started when my brother and I were little, to keep us from understanding what they were saying. They’d ask each other, “So, are we going to let them watch DQMW with us tonight?” (We always watched Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman as a family – you know, before Jane Seymour was “Kitty Kat.”) So I grew up thinking everyone did that – everyone spoke in abbreviations. Why say the whole name of a TV show, movie, book, friend, place you were going, ANYTHING, when you could just use a couple letters?

My friends? Not amused.

My parents still speak like that. “Sorry, honey. Can’t talk now. GA’s on.” Old habits die hard.

2) They make up words (or change the meaning).

Has anyone ever called you a pita? Probably not (unless it was me). Until high school, I thought that when my parents called me a pita, it was just some word in another language that I didn’t completely understand. I got the gist – they only used it when I was irritating them. When I was being a pain. Or, more specifically, a pain in the ass.

Oh. My. God.

I felt like an idiot for not understanding sooner. And then proceeded to use the word constantly – so useful.

3) It’s not just words – they change whole phrases!

I’ve mentioned “one swell foop,” but what about “61 and a half-dozen others”? Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t know that one? How about the real one: “six of one, a half-dozen of the other”? It makes a little more sense that way when you’re comparing things, no? However, due to parental programming, I still have to think through both responses in my head before speaking. Because when a visiting friend asks, “Well, should I take Route X or Route Y?” and I respond, “Oh, you know, 61 and a half-dozen others,” I just get blank stares.

4) They lie to protect their own secrets.

As a kid, I used to snore. I was self-conscious about it, especially considering my friends would make fun of me after a sleepover. So I asked my mom if she snored. “No, honey, girls don’t snore.” What?! Girls don’t snore? What the hell was wrong with me? My brother’s snoring could wake the dead; I prayed to God I didn’t sound like that. And then, one morning, I walked into my mom’s room and heard her snoring! I distinctly remember shaking her awake: “You were snoring! You told me that girls don’t snore!” She opened her eyes and looked at me: “Oh, yeah. I guess I lied to you.

5) They pretend to be in cahoots with the Easter Bunny (and Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy).

Growing up, we spent every Easter at our grandparents’ house, where my brother and I shared a room and plotted as to how to stay up and catch the Easter Bunny in action. Our parents warned us that if we were awake, the Easter Bunny wouldn’t come (same rule applied for Santa Claus – I think it’s pretty universal). We tried every year; fell asleep every year; and, ultimately, there were Easter baskets waiting for us, every year. Except when there weren’t. Except the one morning when we rushed out of our room and there were no baskets, no hidden eggs, no hint that it was anything other than a normal Sunday.

After traipsing upstairs to proclaim this injustice to Mom and Dad, we found our Easter baskets sitting at the foot of their bed! “I guess you two just stayed up so late that the Easter Bunny delivered them here, instead.” I now realize that’s parent-code for: “I was too lazy to bring these downstairs and I knew I could make up something you’d believe.” Well played. I’m taking notes.

On the plus side, some of these tricks have already proven very useful in babysitting. However, the word-based trickery still gets me. But I’m working on it, one step at a time. I know it won’t all happen in one swell foop.


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