Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Malentendu – Wordplay Wednesday™ 08/05/2020


Build Your Vocabulary Not an Arsenal

After last week’s perplexing and potentially sly insult with widdershins, yes, this week we have yet another word for your vocabulary’s oh-so-subtle list of descriptive umbrages. Due to its pronunciation, this week’s word almost sounds like a compliment.

Now mind you, I am not urging you to build your vocabulary as an arsenal for rudeness … unless you’re writing a fictional work and it fits your character’s persona. However, in real life conversation, if the pointy-toe shoe fits … but don’t force it … gently.  Ah, oui, oui, mon ami

MALENTENDU (mȧ lännʹ; French) adj. – misunderstood, poorly conceived (n. – a misunderstanding). [WW #280]

Once you master the pronunciation of this transplant from the shores of France, you’ll find malentendu an ideal word to graciously tell someone their idiotic idea, concept, or process is completely B.S. After all, the English think the “language of love” sounds so elegant, right? You will appear cosmopolitan, rather than discourteous.

Using malentendu in some circumstances may temper your temper, and by not exploding with expletives or other vulgar American terms, you are reminded to attract more flies with honey than vinegar. (The flies, of course, are a metaphor for what you want to achieve … otherwise … ewwww.)
 
Option 1: “Seriously, Ron, you want to move us back to California?! Have you lost your freakin’ mind?! Why in hell do you want to return to a state of political greed and pathetic drive to be first and mistakenly best, that keeps everyone so poor?”

Option 2: “But Ron, while your idea to build a retirement community in California is admirably motivated, its malentendu reasoning needs solid footing. There are many more welcoming and affordable locations. Let’s work together to find a wonderful alternative for the company.”

Word Challenge: MALENTENDU. In your writing, it’s an exceptional word for mundane situations. In conversation, have some fun and try out a French accent; it comes naturally with tongue in cheek, as you fit malentendu into your week of well-managed writings and clever conversations.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 



[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

*LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz  

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Widdershins – Wordplay Wednesday™ 07/29/2020


What’s 475 Years to a Word? 

Traditionally, we are trained to create our masterpieces of writing with solid, common, modern, and literately accepted words.

It’s fun, however, to throw in a throwback word or phrase that may have been commonplace in writing and conversation once, and is still in the dictionary, but somehow fell out of favor, like …

WIDDERSHINS (ʹwi-dɘr-shɘnzʹ; 1545) adv. – in a left-handed, wrong, or contrary direction: counterclockwise (also withershins) – compare deasil [clockwise]. [WW #279]

Seriously … have you heard anyone use widdershins recently? It’s a wonderful word for fiction, especially when used in period character dialogue. And slipped into contemporary fiction or even creative nonfiction, widdershins is delightfully unique.

We always hope our readers are truly invested in our writing. And when encountering a word like widdershins they’re provided an opportunity for amusing rediscovery or learning of a word that has apparently trekked in-and-out of conversations for nearly five hundred years.

“That’s an absolutely widdershins way of solving the issue. It isn’t what they can do for you, it’s what you can do for them that gets attention.” It’s like calling someone asinine, in a more refined, non-threatening manner, with a sly grin. 😉
Word Challenge: WIDDERSHINS. It may feel clumsy to say, but have some fun and give this timeless word the spotlight, as you fit widdershins into your week of unique writings and clever conversations.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 



[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

*LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz  

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Katzenjammer – Wordplay Wednesday™ 07/22/2020


Cats in Jammies?  

Love the mental image, but your cat might put up a pretty loud fuss about it. Kind of like you the morning after bingeing on a few too many libations while streaming TV shows … Wahhhhh, why did I do that?

KATZENJAMMER (ʹkat-sɘn-,ja-mɘr; 1849) n. – 1) hangover; 2) distress; 3) a discordant clamor. [WW #278]

In my humble wordsmith opinion, because of its German partial word origin (thought to be German and Holland Dutch by some sources)“katze” translates to cat—for English purposes I’d link katzenjammer more to its third definition, “a discordant clamor,” which cats are known for, rather than “hangover.” “Distress” comes closer, but caterwaul comes to mind, “1) to make a harsh cry; 2) to protest or complain noisily”—again, frequently linked to cats.

However, most of us 39ers (39 and Holding folks) and cartoon aficionados know katzenjammer  from a popular late 19th century comic strip, Katzenjammer Kids, c. 1897-2006. Created by Rudolph Dirks (a German immigrant) in 1897, the American comic strip was later drawn by Harold Knerr (from 1914 to 1949).
 
The rebellious Katzenjammer Kids, who were always in trouble with the authorities, published its last strip on January 1, 2006, but you can still enjoy it in reprints by King Features Syndicate. Dirks/Knerr’s Kids is the oldest comic strip still in syndication and holds the distinction of longest-running …

What I didn’t know until now, is katzenjammer was a word in its own right quite some time before Dirks’ comic strip. There are reported word origins as early as 1821, but the dictionary notes katzenjammer putting up a clamor to be included in the English language tome, established with an 1849 origin.

Word Challenge: KATZENJAMMER. However you decide to use it, have fun with this noisy word, as you fit katzenjammer into your week of cacophonous writings and clever conversations.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 



[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

*LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.

E-N-Dzzzzzzzz