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Saturday, August 27, 2011

In A Taffeta Tizzy

When I was growing up, writing (penmanship), grammar, punctuation, and spelling were taught from kindergarten through our senior year. In 6th grade, we had to start learning how to diagram a sentence, often doing it up at the board. I remember being hugely embarrassed when my teacher called on me to go up there—in front of the class—and I couldn’t figure out how to get past the noun and verb. I’ve always been grateful for the incredible English/Reading/Writing teachers I had.

Like millions and trillions before me, my love of reading began as a toddler and has never ended. Passing this addiction on to TLC has been a point of pride for me. I am, unfortunately, discovering that a person’s ability to spell, write and be grammatically correct definitely decreases as we age. It becomes semi-critical by the time you hit your 50s. Y’all have probably noticed I occasionally capitalize words that probably should not be capitalized. Sometimes I know I shouldn’t do this. Sometimes I’m not too sure and just go with it. Sometimes I honestly just feel like doing it—like it’s my prerogative. Or my personal right and choice. To emphasize places and things by using any trick I desire. Merci for humoring me.

TLC and I've been talking about words we love to see, read, think about it. Fun words. Dramatic words. Important words. Special words. Once again we have each chosen eight words (In Honor Of The Eighth Month—Ha!) to showcase—with me starting it all off. She’ll follow with her choices in a couple of days. We hope you’ll get tickled or that this triggers you to think of words or phrases that cause you to SMILE, ponder, dream, and think.

ELC’s Words of Wonder:

Shenanigans. Immediately takes me back to my early childhood, teens, college years. I smile (or shudder, as the case may be) at shenanigans I was either a part of—or instigated. All of us have to be involved in some shenanigans, don’t we? As long as they’re legal? I say yes.

Twirly. Can you even say this word without a little grin? Such a girly/prissy/cute word. Makes me think of ballet lessons and Princess costumes and prom dresses. Twirling or being “twirly” will always involve lots o' laughter and happiness. Always.

Whimisical. I wouldn’t care if everyone I know said this word fifteen times a day—or if I read it that many times, too. It’s a tres silly word that conjures up thoughts of interesting/quirky/unique peeps I’ve known—memorable gift stores I’ve been in—how I should want to act—periodically. It’s an attitude. Be whimsical—asap!

Taffeta. I’ve mentioned this word before—on my list of things I consider “fancy.” Taffeta makes me think of Christmas and Weddings and Parties. In my mind, I see the colors of pink (one of TLC’s most gorgeous formal dresses ever was a pale pinkish-coral taffeta—and she looked like a dream come true in it)—or that Christmas “plaid” with reds, greens, blues, blacks, and yellows. I can’t imagine we are ever too old to wear taffeta. Ever. I'm now picturing taffeta yoga pants, TLC. Thoughts?

Tizzy. If you’re feeing overwhelmed, scattered, frustrated, worn out and tired—say this (out loud, preferably): “I’m in such a tizzy!” Make yourself take a few deep breaths—then a few more. Tizzies pass. Thinking of the word “tizzy” to describe your current situation can bring down your stress level by several notches. Trust me.

Whippersnapper. When I looked this up, I was actually surprised! It wasn’t defined the way I really expected it to be. The Oxford American Dictionary says it’s a young and insignificant person who behaves in a presumptuous way. Hmmm. I wasn’t remembering there was an “age limit” on whippersnappers. Or that any whippersnapper I’ve ever known was “insignificant.”  I thought it meant someone older—almost geezer-like. And that the person was energetic and assertive. I like that better, don’t you?

So here’s The ELC American Country Dictionary definition:

Whippersnapper—a young, or middle-aged, or old person who is energetic and assertive and who behaves in a sassy/whimsical way.

Renegade. I feel like I want to be renegade-ish lately. I want to buck some systems. I want to do some unexpected things. I want to be a whippersnapper renegade—that’s sassy. And twirls a lot. There. I said it. And I mean it.

Elegant. Sometimes synonymous with “classy.” I think of Audrey Hepburn. Jackie O. Gone with the Wind—when they’re dancing in ballrooms. I’m not sure I can remember myself ever actually being or feeling “elegant.” (Although, in my Mom-like and uber partial way, I promise TLC was an elegantly beautiful Princess Bride.) It is definitely a word I wouldn’t mind someone using to describe me—at some point. I’m not holding my breath, however. It actually seems to fit more mature women, generally and overall, don’t you agree? Princess Diana would have been 50 this year. I feel she would’ve had that word used every second of every day to describe her. Not only her clothes, but her actions and behaviour (fancy spelling!).

Now, to exercise your brain cells, make a sentence from each of the above words! Or make yourself think of eight more you absolutely adore.

ta-ta for now, mes amis . . .


Autumn said...

Having been described as a bit of a renegade, who loved shenanigans, the whippersnapper was in a tizzy, and feeling whimsical, donning her twirly taffeta gown for the elegant ball.
BTW, I was a champ at diagramming sentences, but I don't think I could touch this one.

The Leightons said...

Awww, Autumn! You get an A+ on your tres clever sentence!

We are not one tiny bit surprised you were good at diagramming--you're good at EVERYTHING! Not J/K. It's true.

Love and Hugs,