Monday, April 19, 2010

Battlestar Grammatica

Isn’t it interesting that some people who go out of their way to puff out their chests and pretend to be smarter/richer/younger than they are (or than YOU are) often shoot themselves in the foot (or the groin) without even realizing it?

A few days ago, a nationally recognized author was here in town, and was interviewed on a local news program. He got the full hour, and took every bit of it to toot his own horn, pat himself on the back, and rattle off his accomplishments and achievements. His grammar wasn’t perfect, but sometimes I think you have to chalk that up to the speaker being a little nervous, or just being human. (But yes, I do tend to think more highly of folks who use proper grammar. Sue me. Mrs. Burns made a serious impression on me in high school English.)

So he was getting on my nerves somewhat, mostly because he was so darn full of himself, but I was driving a rather long distance, and I just hung in there. And then it happened: He spoke of all the “allocades” he’s received over the years. Um, sir? The word is “accolades”. Don’t use it if you don’t know what it is! My respect for you? Sorry—major nose dive. Try again next year.

Obviously this stuck in my craw, or I wouldn’t be bothering you with it today.

Besides, today that scab was picked off by another seemingly innocuous occurrence. A very nice young woman was helping me choose a give-me-back-my-youth new foundation at the Clinique counter in a major department store. She was upbeat and friendly, without being cloying or chipper. Nice balance, and she seemed to know her stuff.

I was all ready to exchange BFF necklaces with her, when she pointed out that this shimmery stuff that was part of my free gift package could be used on my cheekbones or my degligee. Yes, you heard right—a new name for what she indicated (on her own body, I should add) as the décolletage. Somehow, she combined that with negligee, for reasons we can only guess at, and came up with a new word. I don’t expect to see it in the list of new words for 2010, but you never know.

Meanwhile, I’m glad she doesn’t sell men’s cosmetics. She might offer my husband something for his chockstrap.

(Sorry-- can't bring myself to post a photo here!)


  1. Necolletage?
    Because you're worth it.

  2. Hey Leah! I'm much the same. Even simple stuff like bought/brought dents my view of someone in a small way. I'm sure I have some that I'm unaware of (which is the point, I suppose), but I hope it's minimal and not too embarrassing. Which reminds me, I must see the doc to get some new repositories. Indigo

  3. Woww.. Those are interesting..and yup, love it when people go on about how super they are.. just shows you what they're actually made up of :-)
    Thanks for making me laugh on a rough day, Leah! Love ya'

  4. My personal favorite. When I read medical literature or a doctor said "Preventative". The word is "preventive". Glad they are studying medicine and not grammar.

  5. The important thing is you got the free Clinique gift package! I can't tell you how many of those I've gotten over the years...and how many little sample-size potions and lotions are sitting in a closet upstairs. I could really use some shimmer for my degligee.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for visiting my new "estrogen" blog. Not what I had in mind when I started the process with the blog designer but sometimes words are hard to translate into ideas. Half way through I just gave up and let her do what she wanted. Your post is so funny. Its happened to me a few times when you are talking to someone we put on a pedestal comes up with an expression or a word that is wrong. Our mental view of that person is shattered. I thought I was the only one! The word "décolletage" could be used for a new chest cream or in my case a crack cream (you have to see the size of my bust to understand). Was nice to hear from you!

  7. OMG, that was hilarious. My mom always stressed the importance of proper grammar and usage of words. My best friend regularly uses words in the wrong context and it's like fingernails on a blackboard.

    Thanks for visiting my design blog, Strictly Simple Style. (I was too lazy to sign in again, sorry.)

  8. You make me laugh!! I totally understand the use of the correct word! One of my ex's uses the word IDEAL for IDEA... GRRRRRRR