blog-1I read a very interesting post yesterday (“interesting” being defined as “for anyone with enough of a geek/time combination to find a full-length blog on word meanings an enjoyable way to spend a few minutes. It’s called 10 Words That You’ve Probably Been Misusing and it was written by Tyler Vendetti. Now before I get into the meat of this blog, I want to make a few observations about the blog on which Tyler is a contributor (HelloGiggles) and about a few sundry items pertaining to said blog.

Tyler’s blog has 200,000 likes and has been tweeted 2,897 times (as of this moment). It also has about 20 pages of comments. Maybe 50. And comments on comments. And comments on pages that were linked-to in comments, referring back to Tyler’s post.

Tyler Vendetti is my new hero. That’s a lot of blog publicity. And she’s just one of the HG contributors. Plus her last name sounds like a cross between a crime syndicate and a guy bent on revenging the gruesome death of his wife and children.

blog_cartoon_300x300I must be doing something wrong with this blogging thing. Not interesting enough or too harpy or maybe it smells like bad fish. As I approach my 200th post in just over a year and a half, I am left reticent about how well-spent is my time “blogging”? If 200,000 people were bent on my opinion or almost 3,000 people wanted all their Twitter followers to check out what brilliance had just flew from my fingertips well, yeah, of course it would be worth my time and effort.

Did I mention Tyler’s just in college right now? Doesn’t matter. I blog for myself. And for those salaciously witty few who get it. The craftily obfuscated humor, I mean. My readers. All six of ya. So I’m going to do what I do best; I’m going to climb the rungs of that soap box and give it to you straight, no chaser (apologies to the great a capella group).

Here are the ten words that Tyler says we all misuse/misunderstand (I’m going back to the proper writing form of spelling numbers instead of using them—something about getting all grammarly [<~~~MY word, dammit, and I think it’s a good one] makes me want to be as technically correct as possible, even though it obviously doesn’t stop me from making up my own language):

(The list below is copied from Tyler’s blog but I snipped her snappy chatter in-between numbers so that I would have space for my own snappy witticisms afterword.)

1) Travesty

What you may think it means: a tragedy, an unfortunate event

What it actually means: a mockery; a parody

2) Ironic

What you may think it means: a funny coincidence

What it actually means: contrary to what you might expect

3) Peruse

What you may think it means: to skim or glance over something

What it actually means: to review something carefully/in-depth

4) Bemused

What you may think it means: amused

What it actually means: confused

5) Compelled

What you may think it means: to willingly do something, to feel like you need to do something

What it actually means: to be forced to do something (willingly or unwillingly)

6) Nauseous

What you may think it means: to feel sick

What it actually means: to cause nausea

7) Conversate

What you may think it means: to hold a conversation

What it actually means: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

8) Redundant

What you may think it means: repetitive

What it actually means: superfluous, able to be cut out

9) Enormity

What you may think it means: enormousness

What it actually means: extreme evil

10) Terrific

What you may think it means: awesome, fantastic

What it actually means: causing terror

true-and-interesting_50291543a9b43Okay, it made for a pretty damned interesting blog, I have to admit. Here was the comment I made (preceded by a little dictionary research of my own and never to be seen by Tyler nor anyone else because it’s literally already suffocated in the pile of comments both before and following it):

“Many of the words you chose mean exactly what you/we “thought” they meant. AND they mean what many of us didn’t know. It’s both; you’re simply using ONE of multiple usages of the word. That’s not the same thing as a word NOT meaning what you thought it did. Cute post, but you should have chosen fewer (more correct) words or written it under “Other Meanings You Did NOT Know”. Nice work with “conversate”, however. That’s one that should make all our skin crawl.

Ex. Redundant (and this is def #1): characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix: a redundant style.
Ex. Enormity: #3: greatness of size, scope, extent, or influence; immensity
Ex. Peruse: #2: to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner”

letter_eI appreciate Tyler’s erudite blog and her ability to both entertain, entice, enamor, elongate, eradicate, electrify, ease, erase, and yes, even enrage. It really was (almost) a fun as trying to come up with so many “e” words a moment ago. Let’s face it; this is what blogs ARE. They are honeypots, hoping to garner enough attention that the writer lands successfully somewhere between “no one’s ever heard of ya, kid” and “twenty-year-old cutie slain by unusually articulate blog-stalker”.

Do we try to educate? (Another “e” word I spared you, at least until now.) Yes, of course. I wouldn’t have titled my blog the way I did if all I ever intended to do was rage against the machine. But do people ever really learn anything? As I poured through (seven) pages of comments to find my own, I perused a few dozen along the way, and I’d say the majority were pretty nasty.

Don’t FUCK wid my bidness, and don’t you MONKEY around wit my GRAMMAR.

snoring-sleeping-zz-smiley-clip-artNo, seriously, one girl called Tyler’s blog “less interesting than a wet bag of potato chips.” Although a pretty damned funny retort, that comment was completely uncalled for (do any comments actually receive a call?). It really is a great blog, but in all seriousness, I could not believe the pages, and pages, and pages of comments and conversates 🙂 taking place over what I thought was a well-researched, slightly inappropriately-titled, very interesting piece.

If she reads through that plethora [<~~overused word; means just what we think it does] of comments, my guess is she’s already by now been institutionalized. No one—and I mean NO ONE—least of all a bright, joyful, ne’er say ne’er, Mary Poppinsesque college student should ever bear witness to the hideousness of a true cross-section of the World Public like that. It’s terrific. Or terrifying.

Or both, if you believe that little college dipshit’s blog.

Just kidding, Tyler.

But don’t ever fuck wid my grammar again, bitch.


The blank page is dead…long live the blank page.


Rubber Chicken Arrow Through Headv2Author known to use spontaneous satire, sarcasm, and unannounced injections of pith or witticisms which may not be suitable for humorless or otherwise jest-challenged individuals. (Witticisms not guaranteed to be witty, funny, comical, hilarious, clever, scintillating, whimsical, wise, endearing, keen, savvy, sagacious, penetrating, fanciful, or otherwise enjoyable. The Surgeon General has determined through laboratory testing that sarcasm can be dangerous, even in small amounts, and should not be ingested by those who are serious, somber, pensive, weighty, funereal, unsmiling, poker-faced, sober, or pregnant.)


8 Responses to Come On Over And Conversate A Little

  1. Author Aileen Stewart says:

    I enjoyed this article quite well, but I could have done without the egregious language towards the end. It seems the young lady in question was a bit overly enthusiastic in her quest to educate others. Perhaps it’s just an earmark of her youthfulness, however, no one should be vindictive, venomous, malicious, relentless, cruel, or spiteful about the matter. Those who are, clearly show a deplorable lack of good breeding!

    • rsguthrie says:

      Eileen, did you read my disclaimer? It’s called sarcasm. I didn’t mean it; I tried to use it to bring extra punctuation to the situation. I find it interesting that you deplore egregious language and being cruel, spiteful, venomous, etc., etc., etc. and then call into question my (or anyone else’s) “breeding”. I think people should practice what they preach, ma’am—in fact, I personally find hypocritical people quite egregious and distasteful.

      That said, I appreciate your reading and taking the time to comment.

      • Author Aileen Stewart says:

        Dear Rob:

        Apparently there has been a mis-communication. I understood you were being sarcastic and I found it quite amusing. The lack of breeding I was referring to was aimed at the people who made really mean comments about Miss Vendetti’s blog.

        I apologize sincerely for not being clearer in my comments and feel truly sorrowful that I came across as a hypocrite.

        I was trying to have fun with words and am obviously not adept at it. Again my apologies.


  2. Fatma Alici says:

    It is funny how the internet brings out people to say pretty whacked out stuff. I’ve probably read more studies/articles/opinions about then I can remember. But, that is the downside to running a blog. I don’t agree with such behavior, but it will happen.

    Nice post by the way.

  3. chickletslit says:

    As always, a post I really enjoyed for multiple reasons: entertaining, educational, ending it wid a chuckle.

    One of the things I love about Microsoft Word is the Dictionary feature (Kindle, too) where I can click on a word, even one I’ve known but not used very often, to verify I have used or understand it correctly. Enlightenment always ensues with the variations in which the word can be interpreted. Words. The English Language. You gotta love it. Grammar is the bomb* – especially for a writer.

    I hopped over to Tyler Vendetti’s blog (And, yes, I agree – I totally cool last name). Amazing that it has garnered so many hits. I saw mostly the rebuttals of the information and little of the vitriol that you read. All kinds come out – some just to hear their own words – OTHERS, you have to wonder if they read the same post you did.

    *Bomb: (1) Explosive projectile; (2) Bad performance; (3) In Football, a long forward pass; (4) A medical device for directing radiation; (5) A container for aerosol; (6) Much money; (7) Solidified lava; (8) Something or somebody good.


  4. Jon Mills says:

    But don’t ever fuck wid my grammar again, bitch LOL

    I don’t think i’ve even used those 10 words maybe once or twice in my life.

    I need to buy a dictionary and get edumacated 🙂

    The word i use a lot in my writing is “moment” no idea why but i gotta kill it.

    By the way Rob there is a great Stephen King interview here

    • rsguthrie says:

      I can honestly say it’s the first time I ever put that sentence together myself. And it was FUN. 😀 I’ll check out the King interview. Thanks for the link, brother.

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