Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Points to Ponder

Is “satisfactual” a word? I looked it up in a dictionary; it wasn’t there. But don’t you think it should be a perfectly proper word? It sounds great in the Disney song, “Zippety, Doo, Dah,” and it sounded so happy when Richard’s mechanic called to ask if the work that was done on my van was satisfactual. It really made me smile that they care enough to call and ask, and in such a personal, friendly, happy-to-serve-me manner.

And what about “consciencely?” I’ve been reading a book about introverts and extroverts. In it, the author talks about how introverts are more prone to think back over their thoughts and actions and live consciously than are extroverts. When I was growing up, as a Roman Catholic kid, we were taught that every night we should examine our consciences to remember if we had wronged anyone that day. This is what I call living consciencely.

When Rachel was a girl, I asked her to clean up a room. As most tasks did, this took her an extraordinary amount of time. When she finally resurfaced, I asked her what had taken her so long. She replied, “I was arranging the books on the bookcase “sizealogically.” I knew immediately what she meant, and the bookcase had never looked better.

Scott used to say the highest number in the universe was an “alakzillion.” It’s a nonsense word that makes sense to use for an unknown number; is “infinity” any better than? And alakazillion sounds so much more impressive. Nobody would have to say, “To alakazillion and beyond,” because they could quantify alakazillion with regular multipliers ?

Is there a central place where we can submit words for formal inclusion in the American vernacular? We could make a new reality show out of it, and have words voted into or out of the American dictionary. In order to have a vote on any given word, you must be able to use the term in a sentence that the majority of voters would agree made sense. It would be kind of like Balderdash, making up new words and defining what should be their meanings.

As anyone can plainly see, I contemplate deep issues when Richard is away. I have one load of laundry in the basket waiting for folding, one in the dryer waiting for the basket, and one in the washer waiting for the dryer. The dishwasher is still washing and the banana/black walnut muffins are still in the oven. I had a doctor once tell me that I should take up tennis instead of thinking. Maybe he was right. But who would do the laundry and baking while I was out beating up fuzzy yellow orbs with a racket? Besides, I was told by a tennis pro and a band director that I was a spastic. We all gotta do what we can do.

Another point to ponder: Has anyone ever verified that Dale Carnegie had any real friends?