One of the problems with being a voracious reader from an early age is that your vocabulary expands precociously, well beyond what is socially acceptable. As a baby bookworm who had a penchant for theatrics but no exposure to TV, I had an unfortunate tendency as a child to speak in a formal way that was like catnip to bullies everywhere I went. Under the influence of L.M. Montgomery, I would moan at recess, "My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes" (Anne of Green Gables), after discovering our class had lost the competition for a pizza lunch.
Winning a jump rope competition was met with this solemn quote: “That's the worst of growing up, and I'm beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don't seem half so wonderful to you when you get them” (Anne of Green Gables). My mother was used to such pronouncements, but my teachers raised a skeptical eyebrow upon hearing a nine-year-old wax nostalgic about her distant childhood past.
The icing on this ridiculous cake was that I had no idea how to say my flosculations, because no one else on the playground was in the habit of describing the old K-car in the school parking lot as "a hideous jalopy". Since I never heard anyone actually use my big words, my parents often heard such compliments as, "Daddy, you are so AM-ee-CAY-bull" in response to being given a dollar to buy candy. "Am I a cable what?" asked my bewildered father before my mother whispered in his ear, "She means amicable. Just humour her."
In my teens, we got a TV and in university I moved out and was introduced to the world of cable television. Fourteen years later and the boob tube has done its job: I'm officially, like, flosculation-free. OMG! It's, like, so ironic. I think. What does ironic mean again?