Vocabulary Vixen

July 22, 2009

I like words, lots and lots of words!

It should come as no surprise by now that I like words, language, and vocabulary. I enjoy bending literary function to my will on my whim. It is something that I have done for a long time, and I have practiced carefully at. I have written in private journals since I was twelve years old, but my love for language and vocabulary started at a much earlier age. When I was a wee little young ‘un in 1st-6th grade, we would have writing assignments that I always loved. The journaling was fun, and I enjoyed feedback from my teachers. I wrote and published my first poem at 11 years old. It is in a literary anthology of young writers. I will have to track it down.

There’s something about seeing your name, in print, on a page out there that is very mystical, exciting, and empowering. This would make sense, coming from me, because I love to read. I have always loved reading, and I suppose that it makes logical sense that I love to write. I enjoy altering my writing in different styles to suit my mood. I am a very wordy, very visual individual. Words are where I excel. Math, I can do. I’m competent at it, but I’m much better with formulas (that have, you know, letters to follow?) than a long string of numbers to keep track of and follow.

My plan, that I am putting out on the internet right now, is to actually write a book. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time, and it was almost something that didn’t get done because I totally lost confidence in myself and my abilities. But, after a very long while in therapy, and a long and steady break from the rat race, I’ve figured out that this is something that I would really like to do, and I need to do it. I don’t need to publish 100 books. I’ll start with one, then maybe I’ll branch out from there.

More after the jump

The problem has been, for a very long time, that although I like to write, I was under the assumption that every letter I wrote was crap. I was just doing it to vent and pass the time, and who would really want to read what I wrote anyway? I was just another dumb twenty-something that couldn’t hack it in the real world, so I spent a long time getting through college, and I figured I’d just be degreed and dangerous at McD’s for the rest of my life. I just wrote to get things off of my chest, and like I said, it’s not as though anybody out there would want to read this crap!

Apparently, at this point in time, twelve of you do. As of today, I’ve got twelve whole blog views. I think that that’s the most blog views I’ve had since I started, when I was dealing with the pain of a miscarriage. I’m not sure how many page views I got then, but today, I’ve got twelve. That’s six more than yesterday. My point? I’m gaining momentum. And you guys are inspiring me. You guys, gals, gentle blog readers, are the mortar to my bricks. I’ve had this huge pile of bricks for awhile. But it was a just a disorganized chaotic mess. Now that there are people reading what I have to say, I am laying those bricks in line, one by one. I am encouraged to keep going. Write some more. Enjoy myself some more. Feel what it’s like to have more than absolutely zero self-esteem. I’ve got twelve views worth of self-esteem today. Between that, and having a few REALLY SMART moments at work, I’m feeling pretty good. It’s been awhile, but I’m feeling pretty good today. Steady. Stable. Able. Capable.

Even though I’ve got focus issues, once I set a HUGE goal (like finishing college, for instance), I will do *EVERYTHING* in my power to achieve it. It will take a lot more work, but that’s what these goal things are about: work. And working steadily toward a greater good. So, I’ve set out to write a book. About my experiences with mental illness and what I’ve learned along the way. I’ve got things started. My creative process starts with a wisp of an idea that I roll around in my head for awhile. Once I roll it around, I take a look at it, churn it slowly in my brain until I can get it out of my brain onto my medium of choice. Usually, the finished product looks absolutely nothing like what is in my mind’s eye, but the point is that it gets out.

Right now, I’m really focusing on having patience with myself and NOT giving up because it’s not done already.

What, exactly, did I go to college for? Not writing, that’s for sure. I went with something much more practical – Art. Well, graphic design, because graphic design is a marketable skill set to have out there in the big, bad world. And, it was getting late and I had to pick a damn major anyway if I was going to graduate college ahead of my brother. I never would have heard the end of it, had I not graduated first. Me, the elder child. Had I not graduated first, I would have heard about it either directly, or indirectly, for the rest of my life. I was supposed to make it out of college in 4 years, not 6.5. But, the point right now is that I made it. Ahead of my brother. Ha!

So yes, I like words. I like a good deal of them. This is obvious by now. A new word that I learned today: anthropomorphic. I had a hell of a time trying to remember how to pronounce it earlier in the day, but I think I’ve got it. I suppose that my writing and thoughts are very anthropomorphic. Like, for example, “The weather in Iowa is very schizophrenic!” (If you don’t like the weather in Iowa, wait an hour, it will change).

There are a couple of words, however, that go into the Hall of Infamy, that I don’t like. And do my best not to use. I won’t actually type a good deal of them here, but they lend discussion anyway. No, they aren’t George Carlin’s “Swear List”. In fact, my language is very colorful, and includes most of the late Mr. Carlin’s list on a regular basis.

The first word that comes to mind starts with “C”, and rhymes with “punt”. I just don’t like it. I think of tonsil stones (those gross and disgusting little white things that will hang out in your tonsils until they work themselves out. They smell horrid), and I just plain think of a lot of awful, rotted, derogatory things when I think of this word. I reserve this particular insult for only my deepest thoughts. I have used this word once out loud. In fact, that’s what spurred this post. And now the word is having trouble exiting my head. I don’t like saying it. I don’t like thinking it. But, it is what it is. It’s Number One in Vixen’s Hall of Vocabulary Infamy.

The second word that comes to mind has two variations. It begins with “F”, and variation number one, with three letters, rhymes with “hag”. Variation number two rhymes with “maggot”. This seems to be the yang version of the C-word above. It is also very derogatory (here in the US), typically reserved for gay men. Unfortunately, most slang words for men and women seem to degrade women in some form or another, see the next word.

“C*cksucker” is one that I will type with parts bleeped out, but I won’t typically say it. It implies that people who partake in this particular activity are lowly individuals, namely women, because women typically s–k on c–ks. So, to imply that a male individual will be a “C*cksucker”, is to imply that he is of the inferior sex, the female sex.

The N-word is one that I won’t use. I refuse to use a such a word, and it definitely belongs to Vixen’s Hall of Vocabulary Infamy. It’s derogatory, and I could get into deep shit for using it on or around a black person*.

The R-Word. Ah, yes. This one is a particularly sticky one for me. Unfortunately, this word is wily, and quite pervasive in our cultural vocabulary. “Retarded” implies a person of lower intelligence, or their mental development has been retarded (slowed down) by any one of a multitude of factors. It’s only slightly less offensive than the epithets above, but it sneaks its way into most people’s conversation – at least around these parts, anyway. I have been doing my best to banish this particular one from my vocabulary, but I do have an occasional verbal slip-up. Usually, it’s a self-depreciating remark meant for humor, but as an Honorary Member of Vixen’s List of Vocabulary Infamy, it’s still bad. I shouldn’t do it. I shouldn’t use it, or any of its variations. It slips in, but I’m doing my best to make it slip out of mind. It’s a sneaky one, though, and unfortunately very pervasive and widely accepted in our culture.

There are other words and epithets that I really try to keep out of my vocabulary, but these are really the ones that I make a concentrated effort at NOT using! Under (almost) any circumstance!! When I’m un-medicated and my best alternative is a straight jacket in a padded room, all bets are off. But, while sane and thoughtful, I do my best to keep these words away from my mouth. If I find myself thinking them, ESPECIALLY the C-word at the top, I have the urge to eat an entire bar of Zest. These words are The Worst of the Worst. The Best and Brightest of the Bottom of the Barrel of Words. But, I think out of all of them, the C-word is The Worst of the Worst of the Worst. Followed closely by the two-variation F-word.

Now, does this mean that I never swear? Absolutely not! I swear and curse quite frequently! In fact, I use the supposed “Holy Mother of Swear Words”, or the four-letter F-bomb quite frequently. It’s a large part of my vocabulary and I find it quite versatile. Yes, it’s something about carnal knowledge, etc, but it’s not nearly as bad as those listed above. I generally try to use it with caution nowadays, because I *do* have encyclopedias of words in my brain at my disposal, but sometimes we just need a good old-fashioned curse word to emphasize our point! That’s okay!

The words listed above, definitely not okay.

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