06 December 2007

On Words and Writing

I admit it. Everyday in my email comes Merriam-Webster's word of the day.* Not that I actually learn and use these words. But it's fun to get them.
Today's word: locofoco.
Okay--who cares what this actually means? Just saying the word brings a smile to my face.
For those of you who care: "a member of the Democratic party in the United States."
Can you use that in a sentence, please?

Remember how I talked about one of the greatest things about writing was getting away with stealing? I get to be a pirate!
Here's another great thing: when you're a writer, it's okay to hear voices in your head. In fact, it's encouraged.
I love being a writer.

*The story behind Merriam-Webster. There once was a librarian Merriam (little known fact: the song Marian from Music Man was pilfered from Merriam and Webster). Always her nose in a book. One day, she looked up to see the basketball great Webster hiding in a corner. Figuring he must be up to no good because anytime a jock hid in her library it was no good, she approached him.
But no! He was reading! Actually reading!
"Don't tell no one," he whispered, "But I love words."
They met in that corner everyday for seven months.
Until Webster's parents discovered them.
"For shame!" the parents said (together, because they talked in chorus often). "A librarian!" The parents grabbed the book away from Webster (again together, because the acted in chorus often), and shipped him on a bus to Indiana, because that's where all basketball players go.
"You will be one of the greats!" they said.
Poor Merriam. Her kindred spirit gone. Picking up the book discarded by Webster's parents, she hugged it to her.
Epiphany! The lightbulb flashed! They wouldn't be separated. They would find a way!
Though those were the days preceding email, she employed something called a pen and paper (you can look these items up in the dictionary or an encyclopedia). Back and forth, Merriam and Webster wrote letters collecting words.
One day, Webster met a guy named Britannica.
"Britannica, old boy," Webster said. "Will you marry my love and I?"
"And me," Britannica said.
"No, just the two of us."
Over the phone, Britannica pronounced them husband and wife.
They never saw each other again, Merriam and Webster, but they are forever bound (hee-hee, get it? bound?).

Coda: By the way, this is what's known as ternary.


Karmyn R said...

You mean to tell me that I could be a locofoco if I actually got involved with politics? (well - a very moderate one anyway).

Of course I had to look it up. I have Merriam and Webster bookmarked as a favorite.

Dreaming What Ifs...

Willowtree said...

Hmmmm, let me see. Ok I think got it. The Italian sheriff's job issa to locofocco ina da hoosegow.

Erin said...

peeslackgiglation- the act of wetting your pants because you're laughing so hard.

Given my recent history with the old dictionary, this brought joy to my heart. I vote you Locomoco of the year!

Jenny said...

Got to share this with my 6th graders:-)

Heather said...

See? I'm enlightening people everywhere.
Especially 6th graders.

Robin said...

Ack! You just reminded me of ANOTHER subscription I lost when we changed our email.... My vocabulary has been suffering, I tell ya, now I know the reason why.

And to think I thought "locofoco" was when you're taking a picture of a train and you're trying to get a clearer image in the viewfinder...;).

LURVE Erin's word, too!


L.L. Barkat said...

Heather, you make me smile.

Erin said...

Oh, it's locomoco.

Well then, what does locofoco mean?

Heather said...

locofoco is the democrat one.
locomoco--now that one, i don't know. but it makes me want to do a brand new dance now (come on, baby, do the locomotion).