Random Word Exercise
An exercise for my writing group was to find a random word and write something about what it means or what it means to me. I thought I would be a hi-tech geek and use a random word generator on the Internet. There are several, and I picked one that sounded good. I had never heard of the first word it generated, and I checked Webster’s Dictionary. I keep a copy of Webster’s Dictionary on my iPad to use when I play online Scrabble. Webster’s had never heard of the word either, so I tried another word. I had never heard of the second word, and neither had Webster’s. By this time, I was feeling angry, the kind of anger that I feel when some egotistical pseudo-intellectual tries to be impressive by using words that few people have ever heard. I tried a third word and got the same result. I can’t remember what the words were since I did not write them down, nor did I want to remember them out of spite. The random word generator had generated three words that neither me nor Webster’s had ever heard of.
By this time, I recognized my feelings of anger and wanted to stop the process altogether since I had lost the spirit of the exercise. I thought of all the jerks that have ever tried to snow me with unrecognizable words, and I wanted to get back at them, and that is where my feelings took me. I did decide, however, to give it one more try from a different angle. I got out an old printed dictionary and, with my eyes closed, I opened up the book to a page and put my finger down. My finger happened to rest on the bottom of the last page of a section, and that part of the page was blank. Now it was getting funny. I tried one more time and really missed an opportunity. My finger fell on the work “poromeric,” which was the next word right after “pornography,” and refers to a kind of plastic that has a high degree of porosity. That plastic has millions of microscopic pores and is used in making shoes that “breathe.” Too bad; I could have had a lot of fun with “pornography.” I checked the dictionary on my Mac Book, and “poromeric” was not in there either. I may have heard of that word if I had majored in Materials Science, but I had not and I had not. Webster’s Dictionary obviously does not get into materials science either.
So far I have tried four words from two completely different angles, and neither I nor my online dictionary had heard of any of them. There was the word “pornography;” a word that to anyone who goes to church, and has heard all the warnings about that subject, is familiar. That would not be in keeping with the randomness of the selection since it was just close to, but not the word I had picked, so I did not go there. Plus, going on about pornography could get me where I really don’t want to go—too risky.
I could be one of those jerks and bring out my thesaurus, but verbosity is execrable to me and not indigenous to my domain and epitomizes a virulent shibboleth, and I would need a pejoratively aspirational edition of a thesaurus with words that go far beyond the words in my Pages’ thesaurus. Being a white personality, I would rather use words that my audience is familiar with and not create a hostile relationship with my readers.
When I had calmed down and decided to leave the shoptalk to those in the shop, I tried another less offensive (I kinda like he word pejorative) random word generator. This generator gave five words at once; robbery, pilgrim, bestial, hop, and puppet.
“Robbery” makes me think of my divorce, and I don’t want to go there because when ever I do, I get grumpy and Janeen complains. “Pilgrim” makes me think of John Wayne. “Bestial” – well I don’t want to go there for the same reason I did not want to go to pornography. “Hop” reminds me of my ex-wife who liked to decorate for almost all holidays with bunnies wearing appropriate costumes. “Puppet” reminds me of what my ex-wife expected me to be. Also, “puppet” reminds me of Mia Love, a less than attractive puppet of the Republican Party and whom I am so tired of seeing on TV and in the newspaper. I should not get too much into politics—except to say that I am anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get Mike Lee and Mia Love bobble-head dolls for some of my Republican relatives.
Next week is Thanksgiving, so I guess I will choose the word “pilgrim.” We have several pilgrims adorning the house for the holiday, including a bunny dressed in a pilgrim outfit that I somehow ended up with from my divorce.
I don’t know why John Wayne called people “pilgrim.” One of the definitions of “pilgrim” (yes, it is in the dictionary) is a traveler or wanderer. In some western movies (in Hollywood, western movies are called oaters because the horses eat a lot of oats), pilgrims are people who have come to town from somewhere else looking for a place to settle down and make a home. Maybe John Wayne called everyone “pilgrim” in those old westerns because they were always heading for somewhere else, like another saloon.
I wonder why men always gathered in saloons, day and night, in those old western movies. Most of the action in those movies occurred in saloons where the men were either getting drunk at the bar or playing poker at a table. What about their families, and did they ever work for a living? What did their wives think of their men hanging out with those saloon girls with their ample cleavage pushed up. Speaking of that, could they have pushed those bazooms up so high without duct tape?
I am descended from pilgrims. I have an ancestor, Roger Mowrey, who was one of the founding fathers of Providence, Rhode Island in the 17th century. I am sure he could be classified as a pilgrim; he may even have hung around in saloons, but who knows.
I may have gone off the intended track here, but maybe not. I could have followed the intended track exactly. There is not much more I can say about the word “pilgrim” without going into American history, Mecca, or some other such religion-inspired roaming event. In any case, I need to stop writing so I can go shopping for a turkey, cranberries, yams, potatoes, beans, and of course, pumpkin and pecan pie ingredients.- YUM