Monday, January 29, 2007

The Impact of Word Choice

I've been discovering a lot lately about the impact of words--in particular what happens when you use a word that's almost the right one in a conversation. It can be like throwing a live grenade into the middle of your relationship. Mark Twain once commented on the impact of word choice in writing and in relationship by saying that the difference between the right word and the nearly-right one is like the difference between "lightning" and a "lightning bug."

So this morning I got this funny bit from a friend--a survey of new words with new (hilarious) meanings that were created simply by changing one letter of a word everybody already knows. It's funny stuff, AND I'm stunned by what a difference in meaning and impact a single letter can make. Word choice matters, my friends. Anyone who tells you differently isn't really listening.

Here are some of my favorites from the new word list:

* Cashtration (n.): The act of buying (or building) a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
* Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an [butt]hole.
* Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to start with.
* Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
* Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
* Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
* Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it,
* Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes and it's a serious bummer.
* Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
* Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
* Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

"Sojourner" said...

You are so right. I am a missionary studying another language and almost the right word is just not good enough!

Thanks for the laugh over the "new" words.