Saturday, April 6, 2013

Flosculation free

FLOSCULATION (noun): an embellishment or ornament in speech


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?

19 comments:

  1. I'm learning a ton with posts like these. Keep them up and I'll try not to flosuclate :D

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  2. Hah I once made my mum nearly wet herself laughing when (at about 12 years old) I informed her that I wanted elocution lessons (and mispronounced 'elocution')

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    1. Half the time my parents didn't even know what I was talking about. It was crazy.

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  3. I guess TV really does rot the brain, ha!

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  4. I certainly can relate! My parents were both teachers. I still get corrected for my "phonetic" speech and spelling!

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    1. My mother was an English teacher for a few years before she had me, and she still corrects my grammar too. She can't help herself.

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  5. Great post! I had no idea I would learn so much during this challenge.
    Connie
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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    1. Glad to be of educational service!

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  6. this is another interesting F word! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. :-)
    from The Dugout

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  7. lol. wonderful post and well written!

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  8. I'm back because I'm really struck by this post -- a real little gem. I'm soliciting work for the next issue of The Woven Tale Press and would love to use it. Take a look at the most recent issue:

    http://woventalepress.com

    Then email me at sandratyler@me.com referencing this post.

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Lend me some sugar!