Words. They’re everywhere and I truly LOVE them. My fascination with words began back in elementary school after a spelling bee. The contest stumper was, “Bologna.” Seriously?! Did I NEVER listen to the end of the Oscar Meyer commercial? If you know the jingle, sing with me now (grab a sandwich in one hand if you REALLY want to get into it)… “My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R, my bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R, Oh, I love to eat it every day and if you ask me, while I’ll SSSAAAAAYYY, cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A. How’s that?” Take a trip down memory lane and watch that adorable little kid sing it on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctNAs1K7nbo
So anyway, I thought B-A-L-O-N-E-Y was a great way to spell, “a seasoned smoked mixture of meats” and that got me the… 2nd place ribbon. Despite my loss, I still love words. I like the fact that words can be tricky. For example, how does a “fat” chance mean the same thing as a “slim” chance? And why is a wise “man” not the same as a wise “guy?” Has anyone ever found the “ham” in a hamburger yet? I’m still looking for an “egg” in my eggplant. And then there’s “there,” as in, “They’re” going “there” “their” own way. Whaaat?! Now, “read” what you just “read” one more time – whew!
If writers “write,” why don’t authors “auth?” If “teeth” is the plural of tooth, why isn’t “beeth” the plural of booth? And what about one goose, two geese? Does that make it one moose, two “meese?” If there’s one mouse and two mice, shouldn’t there be one house and two “hice?” Why is something “extraordinary” the total opposite of something extra “ordinary?” How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck COULD chuck wood? Why do we drive on the Parkway and park on the driveway? And how is it that sometimes noses do the running, while feet do the smelling?
Along with liking wily little words, I love the fact that words can inspire, give hope, encourage and show love. I know that most people will forget the actual words we say, but they will never forget how our words made them feel. Here’s to choosing words that make our friends and family laugh, smile and eager to be the best version of themselves.
On a final note, my good friend called the other day and said she needed some advice and “heatherness.” Heatherness? It got me to thinking about the concept of turning any person’s name into a plain ole noun by adding a “ness” at the end. What would we want our definition to be? A person who is fiercely loyal? Unconditionally loving? Humorous? Forgiving? Fun? Faith-filled? My vote is that we aim high while searching for the words to define our name. Let’s not settle for being a person that’s just full of “baloney” or uh… “bologna”…oh, however that word is spelled!