The English Language

The word “niche” is pronounced NEE-SH not NI-TCH. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but there are so many things about the English language that people repeatedly and intentionally mistake. I understand if it’s due to a lack of exposure to the correct pronunciation. That is a very common issue and one I have complete sympathy for. I am not the most cultured person in the world and I’m sure I misuse and even misinterpret words all the time. The difference is that once I realize that I’ve made the mistake, I change it. Here are a few other words that are either mispronounced, misused, or are not actual words.

  • Orientate – “I have orientate myself to the idea of speaking English properly.”
    • Orientate is not a word. The correct word is orient. This one bothers me because it is used (or rather misused) in professional settings all the time. People one is supposed to respect and learn from will say orientate and I can’t stand it. I would like to add that though orientate can be found online as a real word, this is the result of it being so terribly misused for years that oxford simply gave up and conceded to the stubborn stupidity of the general population.
  • Acks – “Let me acks you a question.”
    • No you may not acks me anything. If you would like to ask me something, by all means please do, but your first question should be “How do I pronounce the work ask?”
  • Nah – “Have you seen Jimmy yet today?” “Nah
    • At what point did nah replace no. When saying nah, you are left at the end of your statement with your mouth gaping open looking like you just had major dental surgery and you can’t physically contract your jaw. No is far more decisive and is also an actual word.
  • Inneresting – “I find it very inneresting that you don’t understand what I’m trying to say.”
    • This is a simple case of having a lazy mouth. You have all of the syllables, and you’re obviously in a conversation that requires thought. All you have to do is pronounce that sharp ‘t’ sound to make your point interesting, as opposed to distracting.

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I would now like to add some fun words to your vocabulary that will impress (or alienate) your peers.

  • Jargon – special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand; “It’s important to understand the particular jargon of the business where you work.”
    • I love using this term. It’s not very common, but also recognizable enough that people know what I’m trying to convey. No matter what profession one is trying to learn, using the term jargon always makes it sound fancy.
  • Pontificate – express one’s opinions in a way considered annoyingly pompous and dogmatic; “The principal of the school will often pontificate over the loud speaker about his many accomplishments as a young student.”
    • I find that this term is incredibly useful in a few ways. First, the person who is pontificating usually is not as well read as they would like people to think, and therefore often does not know the meaning of pontificate. Second, they usually use many, if not all, of the words on my previous list, and therefore I find more pleasure in using such terms to describe them.
  • Dodecahedron – a three-dimensional shape having twelve plane faces, in particular a regular solid figure with twelve equal pentagonal faces.
    • I know that this is not a word that many people would have the fortune to come across, but I find that ,as impractical it is to use in a sentence, I love that I have it as part of my vernacular. I also love saying nonagon; a nine sided polygon; equal in both tonal and verbal quality.

Again, these are words that one should be aware of, either to avoid, or to embrace. I’m not writing this to be annoying or snobby. I am genuinely concerned about future generations who are being taught by idiots.

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Lady How to: Getting over a break-up

Whether it was a month, 5 months, or five years, all relationships have an effect on you. They change your perspective no matter what and will alter how you react to all future romantic situations going forward. As someone who has struggled (for years) with getting over relationships, I have a few tips that might help.

  1. If it’s over, then let it be over. Do not go back. EVER. This usually happens with relationships that were long and intense. It is my firm belief that once a relationship ends, it is nearly impossible to try and repair it. The result will be a worse relationship that is comprised of the tattered remains of the previous relationship.
  2. Don’t remain friends for at least a year. You cannot be friends with someone you were in a relationship with right away. All that will happen is you’ll try really hard to not picture them naked and will fail miserably. Also, friends talk to each other, and you should not talk to them about your new single life. They will pretend to listen and will slowly be dying inside and becoming more and more bitter until it’s their turn to talk. Then you’ll be sorry you ever shared that personal information, because now they are telling you all about this other person. You can try not to compare yourself to this new person, but you will fail. Now you’re both upset and can no longer enjoy your meal.
  3. Take up a new hobby. It is likely that when you were together you did everything as a unit. Now that you are single, you still have the same interests and therefore everything you do reminds you of them. Additionally, since you always used to do the same things, you’ll try and maintain your previous hobbies and instead you’ll be entirely too distracted to even try an enjoy yourself. You will go to the weekly meet-up and dress as if its laundry day and all you had to wear was your best outfit. Your face will be a mix of nervous anxiety as your eyes dash around every time someone makes a noise or a door opens and being overly calm and you try desperately to look your best from every angle just in case they are watching. The best thing to do is try a new sport, or pick up pottery making. Anything that keeps you occupied, while also avoiding the familiar.
  4. Distance yourself from friends with a bipartisan opinion of the relationship. I don’t mean that you have to get rid of all mutual acquaintances, but it would be wise to limit your visits with mutual friends to once every two weeks (max). They will only remind you of good times that were had when your life wasn’t in shambles. You also will have more to talk about if you space out your visits so as not to realize that the basis of your entire friendship was that relationship.
  5. Don’t date until you are ready to date. Just because you are now single, doesn’t mean you have to immediately jump into the dating game again. All you’re going to do is go on a bunch of impulse or pity dates that you don’t enjoy and compare them to the newly ended relationship. Of course they aren’t going to get the inside joke you had about the creep Wednesday night bartender, and it’s not fair to anyone involved to expect as much. Many people will encourage you to “get out there” and “meet new people”. These are terrible ideas given to you by people who are either in a committed relationship, or who are similarly miserable and want nothing more than to make themselves feel validated by reviling in your misery.

These are simply tips based on my observations, but for your own safety I recommend giving some serious thought to the above information.

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Synonyms for “Awesome”

“Awesome” is one of those words that the more you say it, the less meaning it tends to have. Interestingly enough, it is also one of the most used words in the English language right now. To further understand this phenomenon, I did a simple Google search and these were the results.


Awesome – extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear:

“The awesome power of the atomic bomb”


I must admit, my favorite part of the entire search is the sentence they chose to use as an example.

“The awesome power of the atomic bomb.”

It’s not even a complete sentence. Someone [I assume the Google gods] chose to write that purely to stress that for something to qualify as ‘awesome’, it does not have to be positive. (That or they really love atomic bombs, and should probably be investigated for ties to North Korea.)

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Below are the synonyms provided by Google, and they are all superior and far more situation specific.

breathtaking · awe-inspiring · magnificent · wonderful · amazing · stunning · staggering · imposing · stirring · impressive · formidable · fearsome · dreaded · mind-boggling · mind-blowing · jaw-dropping · excellent · marvelous · wondrous · awful

Please review all of your posts, tweets, snaps, texts, pins, and whatever other social media verbs there you have. When you do this, try to count the number of times you said “awesome”. Now replace every “awesome” with the superior synonym.

For more options please click the link below.

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/awesome

Growing up Baseball

I was born 3 miles from Wrigley Field. Every summer my dad would wake me up in the morning with that look in his eye that meant “baseball.” We would get up early and take a 15 minutes bus ride on the Addison 152 to be first in line to get our tickets. “Bueller seats” he called them. I didn’t know what that referenced at the time, but I knew that it meant lots of foul balls and me yelling “ALOOOOUUU” every time we got an out off of third base. Our uniform was jerseys, caps, and (of course) our mitts. If anyone was going to catch that foul ball it was going to be us.

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By the top of the second we had three hotdogs and a diet soda between the two of us. Before I was born my dad would have been a few beers in at this point, however since then he had stopped drinking and now consumed diet soda as if it were the real deal. He told me stories about each player that would come up to bat; talked about their past teams and what their stats meant. I learned all about the announcers and how they came to be at Wrigley; particularly Ron “Ronny” Santo. We were a couple of goofballs trading Harry Carry impressions between innings and betting on all of the trivia questions we could. At the 7th inning stretch we got our exercise by standing, singing, and motioning to the strange creatures who forgot to remove their caps. By the final innings, we were ready for the ultimate indulgence; a Frosty Malt Cup. Our eyes relentlessly searched for the man with the blue bag and the yellow cup in his hand. As soon as I was old enough to count I was counting the number of malt vendors and calculating the likelihood of one coming around at the right time. As soon as we flagged one down I knew exactly what is next. Delicious chocolate malt with a Popsicle stick for a spoon. This was baseball luxury at its finest and none of the delicious concoction would escape my grasp, no matter how much I needed to get on my face first. The game was coming to an end and we could spot the nonbelievers. They decided that they have seen enough to know the outcome of the game and therefore don’t need to watch the final pitch. We knew better. You never know what will happen when a Cub steps up to the plate.

I learned more about life than baseball through going to those games. I learned about rain delays, extra innings, chin music, and how a little base hit can make or break the game. Win or Lose, those summers spent at Wrigley were some of the best I’ve ever had, and no matter what, they will always be with me.

The OKC Experiments: The Almost Date Part 2

Hypothesis: If a guy stands you up and then refuses to talk to you, he is not interested.

Control: I ended all communication.

Independent: A random message from him at 4:30 on a Tuesday.

Results: Once I was stood up and felt that fun emotion, I got on with my life and stopped thinking about this person. It seems, however, that he did not do the same thing. At some point in his day, he found it necessary to contact me once more and try to reestablish communication. Not only did he reach out, but he also asked me (the girl he stood up) why his dating life was not successful and why some girl decided not to date him. I was not receptive to this communication.

Conclusion: This guy has no idea how to treat human beings; let alone female human beings.

The Evolution of Awkward

Awkward: 1. causing difficulty; hard to do or deal with 2. Causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience 3. Not smooth or graceful; ungainly

Prenatal-1yr

The prenatal stage is included because her actions as she is carrying you would normally be a source of awkwardness; however, since she is pregnant, many of those issues go out the window. Thus is the miracle of life.

Being a newborn baby is the least awkward you will ever be. You are a baby, and as such you have no knowledge of the social stigmas that surround you every day. You baby memehave the unique ability to poop, vomit, scream, and d
to pretty much follow through on your every whim without the negative symptoms of being socially aware. Enjoy it while it lasts.

2yr-4yr

Between the ages of 2 and 4 you slowly realize that the actions you take have an effect on those around you. I should mention that even though children at this age are aware they are doing the wrong thing; they often do not care and will continue with what they are doing until parental corrective action is taken.

5yr-8yr

This is the age when children begin to interact heavily with other children. They are beginning to realize that there are social consequences for their actions. Their peers will not be as forgiving as family is and they have the power to either lift you up or drag you down. The effects of this are not long lasting as children at this age tend to get over this fairly quickly, however major blunders can be devastating and have lasting effects. An example of this would be wetting the bed. It is not easy to get over the trauma of wetting the bed at your first sleepover, and the impact of that could carry into adulthood.

9yr-13yr

An interesting and dramatic shift occurs at this age. Children begin to gain most of their self-worth from the opinions of their friends and classmates and very little from their family and parents. Though they still look to their parents for the familiar and simple pleasures, such as fishing or watching a favorite movie, they tend not to dwell on these moments as it can be seen as childish and weak. It is at this time that one’s raw and untamed awkwardness comes out. Interests that you once thought were cool are now taboo and social stigmas and stereotypes are put in place of actual feelings. Girls are meant to be girly and boys or meant to be boyish and any divergence from this path will lead to unrelenting ridicule. Basically, children are cruel.

14yr-17yrnerdy-teen

You are now a “young adult” and are experiencing the confidence of knowing that you know everything, with the inexperience of actually knowing nothing. It is at this stage in life that you are the worst possible version of yourself. You gain all of your self-worth from your peers. Everything about you from your clothes, hair, intellect, and even speech patterns are scrutinized and whittled down to fit the specific niche that you have chosen for yourself. This niche will change over time, but the basic principle will remain the same. This is also the age at which you become incredibly aware of your genitalia, others genitalia, and how you think that genitalia should interact. It takes on its own persona that is equal parts aggressive, passionate, and leaky…  As your brain attempts to comprehend what is happening in your pants, your skin decides to reenact the Jurassic period. Strange topographic features begin to emerge where once there were smooth plains. For some, small outcrops of vegetation attempt to grow, but are unevenly spread and often sparse. The whole surface can at times be covered by large oil slicks. The only hope for the future is that in a few years this will have ended and you will be able to normalize these extreme features.

18yr-20yr

You are now an adult (legally) and as such you have gained a sort of higher standing amongst the younger classmates. Many have tried alcohol and a few have ventured into the unknown world of genitalia action. Though you are probably terrible at both endeavors, you now get a chance to practice and be mildly forgiven since mentally you are still a child. You are old enough to be entitled and have had years of practice annoying your parents that you now have it down to a science. You are also about to enter a new stage where you go from being top dog in High School, to bottom of the totem pole in College. You ego is now shot. You just spent 4 years of your life tirelessly working for the approval of your peers and all of a sudden you are in a new environment where you are not only the youngest, but you have the least self-awareness of anyone on the entire campus. You have to figure out who you are without the comfort of having familiar people backing you up and telling you that your decisions are valid. The goal is no longer to be cool, but to be educated. People who are more well-read are seen as higher in the hierarchical scale as they can converse with the confidence of adults while maintaining the added benefit of being young and attractive. Not all people take this route as many in college choose to party and find that to be an admirable quality. I consider this to be a latent continuation of the previous stage that, unfortunately, some never grow out of.

21yr-25yr

You have explored the realm of ‘drunking until you are drink’ and survived. You now have an established group of friends that you gained over the years in different classes or social groups. You may be awkward, but so are they. You say the little things that come to your head with the ease and confidence of someone who knows that even though they will make fun of you and bring it up on a later date, those comments and quirks are why they keep you around in the first place. The true awkwardness of this stage is the point at which you realize that your entire family has been waiting until you have a steady income and a place of your own to bring up the subject of starting a family of your own. You had not realized until now, but most of your older family members are married with children, and even a few of your friends are beginning to settle down. Now you get to take all of that confidence you have around your friends and try to translate it into a relationship. No matter where you meet a significant other, it always begins with the strange things you say around your friends. If they pick up on those subtle cues all is lost. If, however, you find someone who gets the cues and throws them back at you, then you found a keeper. Just don’t bring them up at Thanksgiving unless you intend to spend the entire evening explaining why two months is way too soon to be talking about baby names.

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Dear Employer

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Dear Employer,

Thank you for allowing me to work 14 hours every day for a minimal salary that does not account for overtime. I really love the way you make me feel appreciated when I work at 3am by calling me at 7am and promptly yelling at me. I particularly enjoy spending what few hours I have to myself in the morning listening to you degrade me and my work simply because I am female. I would also like to mention how much I want to work over the weekend and how great it is that you wait until 6pm on Friday to mention to me that I do so.

If I may make a suggestion, don’t worry about treating me like a human being who would like to enjoy what is left of their summer with people they actually enjoy being around, and certainly don’t worry about any plans or classes I may have that I’ve spent money on. I can tell through your lack of communication that you are concerned about that aspect of my life, and I wouldn’t want you to have to go out of your way to have any sort of sympathy or compassion for someone as lowly as I.

I understand that as a female in the workplace my position is that of a brainless, spineless, robot and I cannot possibly understand how hard you work every day on the golf course. My lady hands could not possible handle the arduous task of enjoying such a game and I understand that it is a real chore for you. I only hope that my smaller that average brain and feminine sensibilities do not disrupt the workplace. I will work harder to improve myself and aspire to think and act more like a man.

Sincerely,

The Only Employee You Have with a College Degreefeminist-killjoygiphy