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.


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