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Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Little I Have to Offer You Should Probably Refuse

             I'm going to concentrate what little mental energy I have to offer you and regurgitate a blog. After all, there is no reason my expurgations should be confined to the topsy turvy waste rooms of large buses. Yes, my unwavering dedication to family manifested itself in all its glory, which only seems appropriate on the Greyhound, but I digress, digest, well, no, not really... moving on. Today's word, children, is "Onomatopoeia," which means words meant to mimic actual sounds. Think "ding-dong," "pop," "hiss" etc. It's really not a difficult concept, but is a word that I have trouble remembering. My advice for the faux intelligent? Don't use the word until you hear someone else use it in public without getting laughed out of the room. Honestly, that word doesn't just roll off of the tongue. Email is safe too. It's a word you might here in a poetry workshop as well. Usually, after everyone is done reading, people actually begin to pay attention and get into criticism and shoptalk. Someone will confidently use this word in a sentence as if they've been using it since the age of six, but it's more likely that it's fresh in their minds because they just read the word somewhere and looked it up. Given the introduction of this blog, you might imagine how I'm tempted to further shares examples of onomatopoeias, but my many sponsors have insisted that I clean up and class up this wretched little blog.
                                         happy holidays,
                                       Ray Ray Montoya

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Synecdoche and Insanity

Some days begin rolling out of bed at 5 PM, throwing off ruffled sheets and in a deep, utteral voice growling words like "syyyyyyynecdochee," or as it's properly spelled "synecdoche."  In years past, when I wading through the width and depth of wordy bullshit that was the study of  an English grad student, it was one of those damn words that I would always come across, look up and forget. It wasn't always that easy to understand how the word was used in context either. My dears, a synedoche is, simply put,  a part that represents the whole. An element that symbolizes the entire. Common examples include a "pair of hands" referring to  a worker, "steel" referring to a gun, "boots on the ground" referring to soldiers, etc. In case you're wondering, the word should be pronounced like "connected city," not "signed douche."

 I very often hear people refer to others not by their minds, faces, or other redeeming features, but by their posteriors, poopers, backsides, booties, butts, asses, bombas, coolos, fannies, tookuses, tushies, cans, glutius maximi, well, I said I would keep this blog above board,so we'll cut the tangent here, only for me to ask you simpletons how often do you hear someone say "Hey, get your ass down here," or "hey, wake your butt up" or the like? This is a familiar synecdoche; indeed it is a rather stupid, common one. I haven't exactly figured out why we think the way we do as a species.

 Synechoches are also found when specific brand names are used to describe a whole category of items. Think Kleenex for any kind of tissue or imagine our less developed brothers and sisters in Texas and the Deep South referring to all carbonated, high fructose corn syrup beverages as "Cokes." Imagine going to a dusty diner somewhere in the Panhandle of Texas and and responding to the pink aproned waitresses' query by saying "I'd like a coke, please," to which she responds "Wut kaaaaaand?" Confused at first, but you reason correctly that she's asking "what kind?" as in what kind of Coke. Savagery, coke is the primary drink and should be the assumed choice. I think I've wasted enough time on this subject for now, so I'll leave you with two completely unrelated questions:
                                                       1 In America, schizophrenics are very often convinced that they're being followed or scrutinized by the C.I.A. This being the case, do British schizophrenics often imagine that they're being followed by MI-6 or MI-5?
                                                        2 A common trope to crime fiction and dramas is that regular beat cops hate internal affairs or professional accountability departments. Is this true? As best I can tell, cops think it should be their right  to give or not to give a  traffic ticket to whomever they please, but that seriously criminal cops deserve any harassment they get. What do you  know about this nonsense?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ebonics and The Blahs.


 As you might expect of me, I'm lily white, and I have frequent Caucasian moments while working with the clientele and interacting with the neighbors. The other day, two of my students were using the term "boo."  Boo, for those of you more isolated and boring than I am is a word many African Americans use in the same way one might use the term "honey" or "sweetie." It's often used for your lover, but it's acceptable to call other dear ones "boo" as well. Their discussion brought to mind at incident at the ghetto grocery store where some chunky sized brother with a little swagger walked up in line behind an attractive sister and said "What's, boo? To which she admirably replied, "Don't call me that." He said, "Alright" and chuckled, but  she was unrelenting, "no really." Boo politics.

  I most understood Ebonics when I was younger, had more diversity in my life, and listened to more hip-hop . Now, I'm a decade shy of Archie Bunker casting, and I don't understand much of anything contemporary or fresh. In part, Ebonics is meant to give black people a way of maintaining linguistic distinction from their pale brethren. Taken to an extreme, it's a way to avoid being understood by the wrong people. Some Jamaican Rastafarians told me once that their patois was a way of being able to communicate "in a crisis." You know, think white overseers on warm islands with large, formerly enslaved African populations. This probably isn't the whole explanation, but there's no doubt that pinning down the exact meanings of certain words and phrases is difficult, in no small part because of the multiple meanings that words, particularly those words,  convey. Look up the word "Chickenhead" on Urban Dictionary.com  if you think origins and meanings are clear. There isn't a well-designed, accessible website for understanding Ebonics for obvious reasons, and I think I'm going to stop writing before I get tempted to try my hand at the dialect-maybe after I've had a few, but no minstrel.

   Which brings me to the next bug in my craw. I'm tiring of this blog, At the very least, I'm tiring of the subject matter. I'm not going to stop. I enjoy having a small following, and I want to make at least some G.D. money off of this, but new themes or topics might be embraced in future blogs. I would like to write about my  constant, miserable battle with OCD and depression and political opinions that I might not express in polite society or around people who I otherwise agree with. That all may or may not make sense later.

                          be well,
                                     Ray Ray Montoya

Friday, December 2, 2011

Over-Exaggerate, Nowadays, and The Alliteration Disaster

I need to class up my Twitter and online-presence, which to me and most of you means not using any unnecessary profanity or directly referencing any bodily functions or sexual situations. That said, don't worry. I'll still used my deranged imagination to take you places you don't want to go. I mean I can't avoid doing that to myself, so how can anyone following my thought process end up in some tropical paradise at the end of the train? Now, where were we?

Grading a paper, I came across the phrase "now day's. Now days are two words people often mistakenly use to inaccurately try to describe this period in human history as completely unique. "Now days, there are all sorts of rude people and some folks don't have the same values as the rest  of us." Gee, because it's not as if some scientists or historians hadn't  pinpointed the year 1803 in America to be the year of complete agreement over right and wrong and a year free of unpleasant people. Old people like to bitch about young people. That's a fact in every civilization for every time period in Homo Sapien Sapien history. Enough cheap bourbon, and enough ranting. The correct way to refer to the contemporary condition in question is "Nowadays." Personally, I find that spelling counter-intuitive. I don't know if it's a "Combination Word," and I don't think it's a Portmanteau, so I'll leave it to my readership to once more embarrass me with the right term for words like "Nowadays," "Heretofore," and "Nevertheless." I didn't take off any points for that error, by the way, if I, an iconoclastic, influential, inspiring,,insurmountable, incalculably intelligent instructor didn't know (although I damn well should have) then I'll give my student a pass.

   As a senile, surly, sottish, stupid, sloth, I miss a lot of what should be obvious. Again, my Twitter homegirl Tonia pointed out to me another redundant word that is.... redundant and to be avoided : "overexaggerate." Obviously, I should have picked this one up in my earlier blog. It would be an oxymoron and impossible to "underexaggerate," and excess description or inflation is implicit in the word exaggerate, so that's another word that must be cast into the lake of fire.
And with that, this tirade is even starting to bore me. Be well!