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Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Fresh New Ishue

   Recently I was ordered by the powers that be to write a blog on the way people add the suffix like appendage known as "ish" to the end of words. 
   My first mental image is of a teenage girl with lots of insecurity about herself, trying to hedge her bets when it comes to self-description "Whatever, I'm smart-ish." Maybe later, she puts on some tube top, pulls her hair back, and affirms to herself in the mirror that she looks "hottish." But I'm being unfair. I hear this suffix of hesitation everywhere. The church I went to for awhile, before I could no longer stand it, was advertised as starting at "7ish."  A girlfriend relates her boyfriend's penis as "biggish." People who are few minutes late are "lateish" or "latish," which sounds like some Jewish prayer or pastry. In fact, I think this is a Millennial or Generation Y tic along with describing things as "uber" or the verb "chillaxin."

  I know that you know me as the cranky, octogenarian shut-in with a habit of shooting his pellet gun at unknown moving objects, and it seems like I would hate it when people add "ish" to the end of words, but I don't. It's an effective way of modifying words, and it's a few less syllables than "semi" or "relatively" or "moderately."

  I guess it can be used to propel stupidity. If a long limbed 6 foot 6 amazon walks into a nightclub, sits down and crosses her legs a la Sharon Stone it would be ridiculous to hear some 19 year old say, "she looks tallish." Then again, it might be ridiculous for a 19 year old to be in a nightclub, unless he has bad i.d. or lives outside of the United States as a few teenagers are known to do.


  1. are known, you mean? meh. ish has nothing to do with age. much like foodie. :P

    1. You make a great mental tennis player.