Davenport

Davenport: (n) a large sofa, often one convertible into a bed.

Language is made out of razor blades.

It took me a while to learn this.

If you’re not careful, you’re going to cut people.

And if not agile, you may end up slicing yourself.

Whenever you contend that a certain word is necessary in order to communicate sophistication or perhaps being a well-rounded human, you’ve grabbed the razor blade and slashed out at the world around you.

Over the past fifteen years, I have made a concerted effort to make my language out of marshmallows. Even if they occasionally bounce off someone, it produces a giggle-fest instead of a bruise.

To do this, I had to get rid of the assertion that I became a “better person” by using “better talk.”

Example:

The best way to describe a large seating place in a living room is to call it a couch.

Once you abandon the word “couch,” everything else you say is an attempt to separate yourself from the milling masses and the ignorant idiots.

Even calling it a “sofa” is filled with such pretension that people immediately know you’re trying to communicate your verbal—or even perhaps natural—superiority.

I won’t even discuss the word “divan,” because truthfully, friends, it is not divine.

Yet when I was growing up, there were those who referred to a couch as a davenport. Generally speaking, they were old, white, and held their noses a little higher than others. It was obvious they were in a constant search for obscure terms to describe common things.

Many of them said tomato and potato with a soft sound on the “a.”

“To-mah-to.”

“Po-tah-to.”

Occasionally, when using a word from foreign extract, they actually fell into an accent which they mustered for the moment.

The pastor’s wife from my church had a davenport. That’s what she called it. Now, she never corrected anybody for calling it a sofa or a couch, but she refused to join them in such lollygagging of the tongue.

So let me tell you:

If you want to find out what your profile is on Earth, see how many attempts you make to establish patterns of speech that you have decided are more “high-minded” than others.

If you have many, many of them, you are officially an Earthly asshole.

If you have a few, you’re pretentious.

The recommended number of fussy words that you dare keep around in your lingo is zero. 

Dang

Dang: (v) euphemism for the word damn 

Added into the anthology of my journey through the ridiculous and sublime is a one-hour class I was required to sit in on when I was a sophomore in high school, with the subject being, “Better Choices.”

According to the principal, there was an outbreak of bad language in the school, and he wanted to explain how frustration could be handled with much more grace, using terms that, although meaningless, were also unoffensive.

I don’t know how this man knew there was a plague of naughty talk all over the campus.

I think he was fuckin’ stupid.

But speaking of that word, three suggestions were made for when the inclination might rise up to use the word “fuck.”

  • “Fudge.”
  • “Forget it.”
  • And “feathers.”

Now, I don’t know how one was supposed to restrain the tongue from spitting the original gem, substituting the new language, but the instructor explained that if it was accomplished and sweeter sayings could be offered, then it was generally regarded among the American populous that your morality was immediately deemed honorable, and you gained at least thirty IQ points.

Shit was shoot.

Goddamn was golly.

Ass was bottom.

Bullshit was baloney.

Dick was private areas.

Pussy skipped vagina and went to lady’s parts.

And of course, damn was dang.

At the end of the session, four students were called up to do a demonstration, with the first pair using the foul words and the second pair, the more respectable lingo.

They probably could have gotten through the whole class without too much ridicule–but it was really a bad choice to do the demonstration. All the gathered students hooted and howled with the ala natural dialogue, but not nearly as much as they squalled in laughter over the dainty terms, which seemed as awkward as a Baptist family having an audience with the Pope.

Because of that forum, I have never used the word dang.

I don’t think that was the goal.

So I apologize to the educators.

Cute

Cute: (adj) attractive, appealing and delightful

There are many foolish things a man can do—like trying to shave while driving down the highway.

But perhaps chief among the ridiculous is espousing a great understanding of women.

I’m not saying they’re mysterious.

But women do not always share a lingo with men when it comes to certain subjects.

I’m talking about sexuality.

I dare say that most women don’t use the word “sexy” unless they’re referring to their boyfriend or husband. Men, on the other hand, award the word “sexy” like certificates of participation at a third-grade class assembly.

Women are much more diverse. For instance:

“He’s nice.”

A kind comment—but also carries the heavier realization of, “I will never sleep with him.”

“He’s funny.”

This is a positive comment from a woman, but if she begins to believe that you’re ONLY funny, how could she ever get serious?

“He’s hard-working.”

Something she admires, but to her detriment, doesn’t always pursue.

But “he’s sexy,” in the female kingdom, is usually reserved for her romantic partner or—oh, yes—some Hollywood star.

So what word will tell you that a woman could consider you viable—not just a friend?

“He’s cute.”

Believe it or not, it’s the same word she might have used when she was in high school. But it opens a door in her brain which allows you, as a man, to become more than a chum to watch Netflix with on a Tuesday night.

In the realm of the female, I think you can pretty well take it to the bank:

“Cute” is a general nod of affection and a quiet proclamation of possibilities.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Appliance

dictionary with letter A

Appliance: (n) a piece of equipment designed to do a specific task, typically a domestic one.

I have often thought it would be a very intelligent maneuver to set my mind to becoming more of a handy man.

I have a very firm conviction (though many of you would consider it a superstition): I think my appliances know that I’m ignorant.

I think secretly they hide out in the kitchen, the bathroom or the office and plot ways to make me nervous by pretending to pull up lame at the most inopportune times so they can view me fidgeting nervously, wondering how to accomplish my task without them.

If you think about it, this is the only self-worth an appliance has. No one pops the bread in the toaster, has it cook to a golden brown and then pats the chrome while saying, “Thank you, toaster for doing your job.”

The only time we actually acknowledge the toaster, or any number of appliances, is when they decide to go on the fritz or become intermittent in some disgusting pattern. It is only then that we appreciate the value they bring to the household.

Is it too far out for me to believe that these appliances might have some sort of agreement among each other, to seek approval by refusing to operate?

So I think becoming a little more handy with tools, threatening to break them open and play with their innards, might be enough to rein them into submission.

Of course, the times I’ve hung around such skillful laborers, I have quickly deterred from my passion to pursue their abilities, because within moments, their explanations and terminology leave me totally baffled. (For instance, a friend of mine talked a good ten minutes about various types of screws before I realized he wasn’t being lascivious.)

So since I’m pathetic with the implements which might be able to fix my appliances, I’ve decided to be very polite, gentle and appreciative to them. Landing somewhere between encouraging a baby to walk and a dog to retrieve a frisbee, I have developed lingo for each and every one of them to let them know how much I value their service.

  • So the dishwasher is “dear.”
  • The toaster is “cool, man.”
  • And the blender is “wow.”

I hope by using these little bursts of encouragement, I can keep them operating in tip-top shape…so they don’t feel the need to threaten me with the silent treatment or their shut-down mode.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix