Cutlery

Cutlery: (n) utensils for eating, esp. knives, forks, and spoons

I have much experience at making an ass of myself.

In deference to this article, I will rephrase:

My derriere is often exposed.

Throughout my life, in an attempt to appear more educated, prominent or opulent, I have used certain phrases in front of certain people I thought would certainly require the best of the King’s English.

I have gone so far as to seek out more sophisticated terminology in both dictionary and thesaurus, anticipating the arrival of some individual I deemed my superior. (Even the young woman who works with me now and takes my dictation, when she first arrived—since she was a classical musician—I felt the need to bone up on my knowledge of the Old Masters who composed the symphonies which are now the relics of orchestras across the world.)

Now, I have garnered that this process is not only foolish, but futile.

Eventually I always popped off with some little piece of verbiage which was so obscure that the target I hoped to impress would turn to me in frustration and say, “What is it you’re trying to say?”

To which I would reply, “I was merely inquiring what kind of cutlery you desired for the evening repast…”

Bewildered, the guest would stare and say something like:

“You mean fork, knife and spoon?”

Embarrassed, I had to acknowledge that this was exactly what I meant.

I quickly discovered that even if people are used to working in high-minded climates with qualified technicians, when they escape that environment, they like to leave the King’s English with the King.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Commode

Commode: (n) a concealed chamber pot

Unexpectedly and much to my surprise, during the news cycle recently, “shithole” became a point of discussion.

Even though I find myself to be a person of some insight, and maybe even able to offer a prediction from time to time, “shithole” sideswiped me.

It reminded me of being a young man and having to deal with the subject of the bathroom.

Since most people don’t take baths anymore, and were unwilling to call it the “shower room,” relegating that to sporting facilities, we do need a name for that very important sanctuary for our natural release.

Truthfully, lots of folks are repulsed by the word “toilet.”

“Potty,” aside from being extraordinarily pretentious, also is now tied to a potty-mouth, which means you are susceptible to using all sorts of foul language and profanity.

Yet even though it has become part of the commentating on television, “shithole” is a little strong for me. It’s the kind of thing a bully would say to you when you walked out of the restroom in highschool, to make you feel uncomfortable.

“How’d it go in the shithole?!”

Of course, there is no appropriate response to the question: “The shithole was fine!” Or, “I don’t call it a shithole. I call it a commode.”

No, I have never referred to the porcelain fixture in the water closet as either a loo or a shithole.

I’m actually without terminology.

Sometimes I try variants–to see if there might be a favored word among my friends. But I’m still confused at how to express for a significant part of my journey.

I neither “take a shit,” nor do I “poop.” Nor have I done any “loaf pinching.”

I have referred to it as porcelain, but not a throne.

And of all the terms, “dump,” for me, is the least appealing.

I think the secret code we developed as children still has some universal possibility:

Simply hold up one finger–or two–to announce one’s intention.

 

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Clef

Clef: (n) a sign placed at the beginning of a musical staff to determine the pitch of the notes.

Back in the day when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, if a young man wanted to be a seafaring fellow, he had to sign up on one of the boats and stay on it throughout its journey, so at the end of the process, if he survived all the perils and diseases, he could be
considered a grizzled, rugged seaman.

Although the analogy may be a poor fit, such a journey was mine with music.

I signed up to travel the sea of notes and time signatures, but after three years of practicing my piano, I decided it was “girly-girl” and I quit in favor of a football helmet and a mouthpiece.

Yet I never lost interest in the instrument. I especially found it conducive to wooing young ladies, who were more impressed with someone who was tuneful than someone who could tackle.

Here was my problem: since I didn’t complete the journey on the “Good Ship Music” and learn all the information and comprehend the significance of each and every clef, I sometimes found myself temporarily appearing inadequate. I learned to exaggerate and lie.

So when my musical companion showed up twenty-two years ago, to join me in the construction of original compositions, I was quickly exposed by this lady with a Master’s in Music, to be less-than-adept at both terminology and technology.

I had to come clean.

I had to explain to her that I could read the notes, but when my right hand and right eye tried to join with my left hand and left eye to play both bass and treble clefs, I suddenly developed a severe case of “fumbleitis.”

Because I was honest, she was very merciful. She let me pace myself at a realistic rate based upon my true ability.

And like the young man who got on the ship to sail the Seven Seas, who decided to stay on at the first port because he favored the local rum over the ocean run, I, too, have to admit my lack of tenacity.

But because I hung around, listened, observed and learned–and was blessed to be in the presence of a really patient partner–it now appears that I have a good understanding of the working end of a clef.

 

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Chubby

Chubby: (adj) plump and rounded.

Please do not feel the need to grab your thesaurus when describing me.

I am not portly.

I am not rotund.

I am not big-boned.

I don’t have a healthy appetite.

I’m fat.

And as painful as the word may be, and as many different negative associations it carries, it is still better than “chubby.”

Chubby removes all possibility of being masculine.

Babies are cute and chubby.

Furry animals are chubby.

Things that are cute are dubbed chubby so we do not have to comment on their rolls of blubber.

In the pursuit of gentle phrasing, nobody’s feelings are spared. Only the speaker feels self-righteous about placating through terminology.

I’m too old to be chubby.

I’m too manly to be chubby.

I’m too fat to be chubby.

Chubby things are acceptably fat, yet fat things are not acceptably chubby.

I don’t want to be a chub, so I certainly don’t want to be chubby.

So as painful as it may be to my ears, I am more comfortable being referred to as a “fat person” instead of a man who has “a big body to hold his big heart.”

 

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Cesspool

Cesspool: (n) container for the temporary storage of liquid waste

Blather.

Defined by this humble writer as language which is accumulated in large clumps without any regard for validity or truth.

Synonyms: politics, religion, the Internet.

Blather.

One of the signs of blather is the overuse of terminology which supposedly has gained universal acceptance, even though it has no rational moorings.

For instance, “America is a cesspool.”

Although countless writers on the World Wide Web insist that our nation is a storage container for liquid waste, this is completely erroneous.

Actually, there’s a lot of solid waste out there, too.

 

 

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Bust

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bust: there are many definitions, but everybody always thinks about breasts.

“Mixed company.”

It was a phrase I heard when I was a kid–always in reference to what you were able to talk about.

In other words, if the room were filled with men, certain subjects were available. Yet if one single woman appeared, the topic–especially the approach–had to be changed.

I completely understand this.

People have certainly learned it’s not good to do jokes about Mohammed in front of the Muslims. They don’t have a sense of humor on the subject.

Even though you may want to come off as relaxed when visiting your friend in the hospital, referring to cancer as the “Big C” is probably not the best selection.

And many men and women are quite uncomfortable discussing female breasts.

This is confirmed by how carefully we avoid using the word “boobs.” Yet even women call them boobs. Most ladies don’t particularly favor tits, but there are so many names for them that it would be impossible for me to go into the full extent of the vocabulary in this brief essay.

So even though the word “bust” is a generally acceptable term for, as we say, mixed company, it is not very good for romantic encounters. In the heat and passion of seduction, stopping to say “bust” might even tamp down the moment.

Now, I don’t know exactly what you can garner from my little observations, except to know that since America seemingly is in the midst of an emotional migraine–where people are pained by everything–it might be better just to avoid using any term whatsoever … and point.

 

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Brie

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Brie: (n) a kind of soft, mild, creamy cheese with a firm white skin

I’m as guilty as the next person in finding practices, methods and terminologies that are considered to be preferred, and then promoting them to let folks know how cool I am.Dictionary B

I will drop a brand name at just the right moment to confirm that I am aware of fashion.

I will mention a particular book I read or movie I saw to explain the depth of my current affairs.

So recently when I was planning a party and I brought up the word “cheese,” what came to my mind was Swiss, mozzarella, provolone or cheddar. If there were budget constraints I would even consider Velveeta. I inadvertently mentioned everything (except Velveeta) and a friend lurched back in horror, explaining that these were not cheeses–merely marketable molds.

I was told that Brie was the only acceptable variety that could be served at a party for “know-about-its.” Anything else placed on a platter would appear to either have been an accident or an affrontation.

I was especially startled when I discovered the price of this cheese, and realized that someone had succeeded in marketing their particular sour milk product as “refined”–to the detriment of other Wisconsin standards.

I have to admit to you that I took a risk.

I bought a cheese that looked like Brie and put it on the plate, assuming that no one knew what the product was–just desired confirmation that it was “the good stuff.”

Comically, they ate the “cheese food” product all night long, content that they were among the elite, consuming Brie. Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


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Backbiting

Backbiting: (n) malicious talk about someone who is not present.Dictionary B

“Gnashing of teeth.”

It is one of those phrases from the Good Book, referring to people who get so angry that they would just like to bite somebody.

So to make sure that we don’t come across like wild wolves, we have come up with more civilized ways to gnash on people, without extracting blood.

But here’s the fact: nobody is willing to admit that they gossip.

So how can you tell if you have fallen into the nasty tendency to become an emotional vampire?

  1. If you’re discussing with another person and the person you’re discussing walks into the room and you tell your friend to “hush up” so you can get back to it later.
  2. If you have to preface what you say with, “I don’t mean this in a bad way…”
  3. If you finish 20 minutes of railing against someone and then decide to close it with prayer.
  4. If you make sure that you attack weaker people so that they have no power to strike back against you.
  5. If you use Biblical or psychological terminology to reinforce your theory of someone else’s perversion.
  6. If you make any kind of pact of silence in order to ensure that your victim is not aware of your true feelings.
  7. If you feel a little greasy and stinky when somebody preaches against gossip.

Gossip is the true sign of insecurity:

It’s projecting onto others our failures.

It is the absence of letting our true yes be yes and our no to resound as a no.

 

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Apprentice

dictionary with letter A

Apprentice (n): a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.

Perhaps it is too late.

Yes, maybe Donald Trump has ruined the word “apprentice” for all time by misusing it as the title of his NBC show.

But I will take a risk. Yes, I will step out and say that if we could return the word “apprentice” to our lives, and especially to our business practices, we would be much better off than we are today in our commerce.

For the truth is, we send people to college, hopefully to gain general knowledge and for them to finish wild-oat-sowing, only to place them in an occupation where they start all over again as an apprentice. Because after all, every company has policies and practices which are different from the competitor next door.

To think that we can teach art, business or education in a college atmosphere and transfuse the blood of the business world into a student is absolutely ludicrous.

What we are hoping is that a twenty-three-year-old is going to be more prepared to apprentice than an eighteen-year-old.

We are assuming that the four or five years of maturity garnered by attending college, being forced to interact with other cultures and races, will make our potential employee a more well-rounded individual. Truthfully, it is dishonest to convey that a college education prepares someone for success in the market place.

It does not.

It does keep them learning until they can finally arrive in a place where they truly do learn.

It keeps the edge and acuity of thinking in practice while we prepare a place for them in line, to see how they measure up against the other applicants.

Are there occupations that demand higher learning instead of apprenticing? I will probably frighten you by saying that even a doctor could apprentice a student. Certain things would have to be done slowly and patiently, but eventually terminology and certainly, more importantly, operations, could be transferred from physician to intern.

So am I saying that a university degree is meaningless? Absolutely not. For some people in our culture just aren’t ready at eighteen years of age to listen to anything but their ear buds.

During the time of Dickens and Mark Twain, young men were allready mollified by the age of fourteen. It is not so with our rendition of humanity.

So college gives young men and women the chance to be kicked in the face enough to learn how to handle a punch. At least, that’s what we hope.

But we will do better in this country when we finally admit that no one walks from academia into the board room.

Everyone spends some time sorting mail before they get the privilege of receiving it.

 

 

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Apple-pie order

dictionary with letter A

Ap·ple-pie or·der (n): perfect order or neatness.

When I read today’s definition, I realized I had no recollection or information on this terminology, and since I am a writer on the Internet, I am fully qualified to expound on it in great detail.

For I will tell you–I like the phrase “apple-pie order,” and I realize that it is never used in our generation simply because we find that a certain amount of disarray is necessary to convey our individuality.

If you want to lose friends and not influence people, just suggest they initiate organization. It is the classic definition of “buzz kill.”

Because even though people cannot argue with your assertion that a certain amount of prioritizing is essential, they feel very American and freedom-minded by continuing their chaos in bliss.

What is the apple-pie order of life? Does it vary from one situation to another? Or has the evolution of the human experience shown us exactly how we work best?

I think that we, as human beings, are heart, soul, mind and body creatures.

When we make our decisions based on our bodies, we normally end up in some derivation of excess or hedonism.

If we decide our life goal based on what we think, we borrow too much from our training and parents’ philosophy and never gain our own sense of purpose.

Even those who feel they’re very spiritual by promoting prayer and God-seeking in the forefront tend to sprout too much piety and not enough practicality.

So we must begin with the heart. If we don’t deal with our feelings and rectify them with reality, they will hang around and kick us in the butt if we turn our backs.

So I think the apple-pie order when attempting to place things in a realistic framework is to start out with:

  1. What do I feel about this?
  2. Is there abiding knowledge or wisdom on the issue?
  3. Can I think of a way to take what I’ve just discovered about my feelings and universal truth and come up with a great idea?
  4. Can I motivate this old bod that I’ve carried around and encourage it to perform the functions that make me appear adept instead of inept?

So it turns out that the apple-pie order is so much like the dessert itself: it works better if you take some time to seek out an a la mode.

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