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Friday, April 27, 2012

Anglophobia

In my day to day treachery, I take note of Youtube threads, replies to news articles, and observe social media, often noting snarky comments. Aside from the Russians, for whom hyperbole is the national pastime, I notice that the Brits are absolutely the most bitter in their comments towards Americans and American politics. I don't know if it's because of their relative facility with the English language, their insecurity at being seen as too close to America due to unpopular political decisions or what, but it's noticeable.  Yes, our food is loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup, and we Americans are a fat people. Acknowledged. Yes, our politics have fallen behind the rest of the first-world (un PC term) in the past 40 years, mired by religious sheep and patriotic oil worshippers. And don't get me started on our tepid, housebroken media If that's too strong, I'll point out that no one Left of the Democratic party has a regular television or radio presence nation wide and that the media loves to rally around every American war, no matter how faulty its reasoning. The thing is our brothers in the United Kingdom are beset by all of these problems as well. I love it when Brits criticize Americans for being war mongers who started the Iraq War. The advantage of knowing how to read is that I happen to know that Great Britain also participated in that oil grab. They were even on our team! As for the media, well, two words: Rupert Murdoch.  What's my point? Why am I discussing political matters? Lord, I really don't know. I'm easily distracted. It's that constant sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup in my system. ... Somehow, I meant to connect this  to the differences between British and American English. A lot of  American folks think they sound suave for substituting the word "ass" for "arse." They're not. Everyone with two brain cells to rub together by is familiar with that British noun, and it's not that interesting. Similarly, I hear a lot of Americans attempt British accents, and only a few actually manage them in a less than laughable way. American Anglophiles, don't feel bad. How many BBC actors have you seen slaughter American accents? More than a few methinks.

  I did come across a British term I wasn't familiar with though-one among many I'm sure.  As noted earlier, my treacheries keep me on the Internet at all hours, stalking and waiting to pounce on those unfortunate enough to call themselves my friends. I wait for a name to pop up on Facebook, Twitter, or any number of messengers. I message them, seeing if their loyalty has held from when last we spoke, 2 hours ago. If they reply within a reasonable amount of time, I count them among the Church of Montoya. If not, I jot their names and the time of the snub in  my Notebook of Resentments Volume II: Internet and Social Media. An old friend mine who currently resides near Manchester, England popped up on Skype. I messaged her, noting that it was dreadfully early on her side of the pond.  She told me that she would like to sleep, but the she had someone who wanted bottles and attention that time of morning. As a result, her mornings are spent watching exposes and "changing nappies." Stop right there. "Nappies." It became painfully obvious what that meant, but I realized I had never put that together until that very moment. It's probably short for napkins, and the committee and I agree that it's a much more pleasant or informal term than "diaper." I'll also point out that I know who a "slapper" is. Pimpin' ain't easy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spell Check Follies and Declaring My Attraction to The World

"so' sorry have to check email more off'n  i be their thank you mr montoya."   I checked my e-mail to find this and now speculation abounds. Did the person who e-mailed me this do so via text, where spacing is difficult and predictive typing hijacks good spelling? Was inebriation involved? Or, better yet, did this person decide to make a rather enjoyable commentary on what I  write about? This could be seen as a hilarious "fuck you" to myself and others in the field. We'll never know unless I pump the suspect for information, and I have to tell you, I'm pretty lazy.

 This wasn't the only spell-check folly I would experience in the last few weeks. Another young man was writing about good study habits and positive behaviors for young people to engage in. Imagine my surprise when I learned that  a quiet place, like your bedroom, can be a good place to "castrate." The kids get kinkier every year, although have to say that  I do encourage "concentration."

Last of all, I've been thinking about the word "attractive" a lot lately. Describing a person as attractive seems synonymous with saying that the person is sexually attractive or dating material.  To my way of thinking, the concepts of attractiveness and sexiness have become conflated. Senor Montoya plays on the Blue Team and, despite appreciating beauty where he sees it, does not "switch hit." Even so, it doesn't seem  weird to say that I'm attracted to the personalities of several of my male friends. Why else would I want to talk to them or hang out with them outside of work or formal activity if I didn't find them attractive? I told a woman on Skype that I  always had a  "attraction" for her the other day. By doing that, I didn't intend to formally declare my undying and passionate love for her, mariachis and all, instead I simply meant that she seemed to have an interesting story to tell. So for now on, I won't hesitate. I'll tell strangers at the bus stop that they are attractive. I'll compliment some old lady walking her golden retriever on her "attractive" dog.  When I finally have a chance to interview President Clinton, I'll be sure to let him know that I find him quite attractive. All joking aside, the words that indicate some level of physical or more primal attraction are obvious, but the best word is "hot."
         I don't want to hear your more colorful words to that effect. This is a "family" blog.

                  RRM

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lexicon of the Long Toothed.

Last week it occurred to me that very few people under the age of 60 seem to use the word "gal" seriously. I realize there are exceptions, but I couldn't keep a straight face or refrain from comment if a co-worker   or family member near my age or younger said "Okay,  I'm off to spend some time with the gals." That's an old person's word no matter who uses it. I decided to ask my Twitter followers which words they associated with old people. I meant to ask for the words they felt were preferred by older people, but in at least one case someone suggested actual words for old people like "wizened," "crone," "geriatric," or even "tenured." That's a decent list of synonyms for the aged. Someone else suggested the cliches of "elder language," words and phrases like "whippersnapper," or "kids these days."  To be sure, older generations have trashed the rising generation ever since Adam said to Cain, "You know I might have lost paradise and pissed off God, but I never committed murder. Kids these days."

  Then of course, it was pointed out to me that old folks like to use the diet sodas or light beers of the profanity world, including words like "dang it," "confound it," "blithering," "shoot," etc. In these United States, in that particular context, you could substitute Bible-thumpers or other fundamentalists  for old folks. The religious folk do not regularly deploy the f-bomb.

   So what are some other words I associate with  old folks? I remember my mother having a conversation in which some older woman described a younger lady as a "buxom gal." I've never again heard that word used to describe a woman with big tits. When my mother used to read Little House on the Prarie books to me, she once explained that the word "beau" meant boyfriend. Thereafter, I'd only encountered the word "beau" in bad romantic fiction (which I don't read a lot of) and when my grandmother referred to one of her "beaus."
It's obsessions like these that keep me from the more worthwhile things in life.

                   with a grain of salt,
                         Ray Ray Montoya.