Random Etymology

To be frank, I feel pretty up to date with the fad/commonly used words in the college circuit. Here’s where I get annoyed: words are delightful. There are so many of them and they can really provide such accurate representations of events or feelings. WHY would someone choose to limit themself to one word to replace many?

Which words are the most irritating to me as of late?

Awkward-this is a growing “overuse violater.” May I suggest some colorful replacements? How about klutzy? Clumsy? Uncomfortable? Inept? Inconvenient? So, was the person really walking awkwardly, or were they walking clumsily?

A personal favorites selection here:

  • Unwieldy-the box was not an awkward size, it was an unwieldy size! This gives us a much clearer picture.
  • Uncouth-was that intentional remark to the newlywed couple really awkward, or was it uncouth?

And if someone out there could incorporate any of the following, I would administer cool points promptly: maladroit, elephantine, and loutish.

RANDOM-this is by far the worst offender in the college-student’s overuse vocabulary. In the past year, I’ve heard girls tell me their messy room looks “random.” Their miscellaneous remark about a bird’s nest amid a conversation about nylons? You guessed it. The placement of a picture on the wall? Well, it couldn’t be hodge podge, or even unusual. It could probably be awkward though…

Why can’t we replace random with a plethora of words including the likes of ‘hodge-podge?’ or helter-skelter? That one may have a little bit of a shady past, but it can pack a punch. Miscellaneous? Disorganized? Haphazard? Happenstance? Arbitrary?

When I see overuse violations in people’s language (myself included) I inadvertently downgrade their intelligence. I realized that what I do is I think that, since they only know one word and use it in a bunch of wrong places, clearly they don’t have the capacity to know some pretty cool words.

C’mon America! Get reading and talk smart. Don’t be charmed by the awkward turtle or the awkward pelican.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Megan
    Aug 29, 2008 @ 18:29:05

    That was like, totally well said…do you have anything against “california girl?” šŸ™‚ Steph, I love your blog…I’m sitting here currently exceeding the time limit I set for myself so that I don’t consume my entire life with facebook and still haven’t googled “seasonal bulletin board” which was my initial purpose in getting online! God provided a job for me at a very small Christian school where I am teaching kindergarten to a class of four. It was completely crazy trying to get a room together in five days, and I’m exhausted but loving it. Thankfully, three day weekends are a gift in a teacher’s life, so Happy Labor Day!

    Praying for you!



  2. Justina Nielsen
    Sep 04, 2008 @ 20:16:23

    hmmm…. guilty. I’m too lazy to come up with other words. That was awkward.


  3. Daisy
    Sep 04, 2008 @ 21:21:06

    Justina, you are a doe-doe. Megan, thanks for that encouraging…and funny…post!


  4. Daisy
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 23:08:44

    Megan. I know who you are. Now I will laugh at you whenever you choose to comment on my blog again šŸ™‚


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