Clever Word Play · 2 March 2024

I like clever word play. Even when I do not recognize that it is clever word play.

Now, I know that I am not that clever. Or funny. Or punny. Or anything that resembles entertaining. But still, I like a good pun or other word play. I have even used some of those clever word plays. Sometimes without even meaning to. Which is par for the course. I am never funny or clever or entertaining when I try to be. I am usually funny, clever, or entertaining when I do something dumb.

I did make a somewhat clever word play in my previous blog post. “Words are interesting. But do not take my word for it.” Okay. Maybe not that clever. But it is at least interesting.

Think about it. There are two different definitions of WORD being used in the two sentences. The first word is just a normal use of the word. A word is just a part of language that stands for something. The second use of word is the notion of the trustworthiness of a person.

(By the way, I am not trying to see how many times I can use the word, WORD, in a blog post. I have already done that before with a different word. In fact, I think I wrote a whole blog post with just one word. … … … If you wondered where I went just now, I looked through a few of my blog posts to see if I really had done that. Apparently, I just thought of using a single word in a blog post. But I did post a blog about Jibber Jabber. I used Jibber Jabber quite a few times in that post, but they were not the only two words. Although I seem to recall trying that. Ah well. So much for great ideas.)

So where was I? Oh yes. Word.

Okay. My clever word play was not. That is, it was not clever word play. But still, I had to laugh at myself for not even thinking about word play. After all, I do fancy myself a writer. Then again, I sometimes wonder why I am writing. I suppose I do it because it is part of my calling. I do it because I am supposed to write.

At any rate.

I started this blog post thinking I might say something clever or witty about clever word play. Turns out that I do not really know much about clever word play. Oh sure. I can sometimes spot clever word play. But whenever I say something that might be considered clever word play, somebody else usually needs to point it out. I never realize that it was clever. Which begs the question. If a person did not mean to say something clever, it just came out that way, was it really clever?

Maybe someday I will be able to use clever word play on purpose. But I would not hold my breath.

© 2024 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Words Are Interesting · 24 February 2024

Words are interesting. But do not take my word for it.

I mentioned the origins of worrywart in my previous blog post. It comes from a comic called Out Our Way, by J.R. Williams and ran from the 1920s to the 1970s. I looked at a couple of the single-panel comics, and decided that they do not necessarily translate to today. At least for me. Of course, the small sample size does not mean that they are not applicable to us today.

Many words have interesting origins. Worrywart is just one of those words. But just think about it. Anybody can make up a word and if it catches on, it might make the English lexicon. Of course, it might help if you spoke Greek or Latin. Then, you could claim that your word was from the one or both of those languages. (Like lexicon. It comes from the Greek lexikon, which means book.) You could make up your word and if it sounded like it might have a Greek or Latin origin, you could just claim it did and make up its origin story. And voilà! A new word is born. (Actually, I am glad it is not that easy.)

I do not have enough word prowess to make up a word that might fit into that category, but I am sure there are people who do. People who obsess over words and have enough creativity to make up some word and its plausible origin, its etymology.

Which is another interesting word. Not because of its origin (which is probably not very interesting), but because of its closeness to the word entomology. Think about it. The two words are just a couple letters apart. One has nine letters, the other ten. The longer word has an added ‘n’ and one different letter (an ‘o’ instead of a ‘y’). And yet the two words mean completely different things. Etymology deals with the origin of words. Entomology is the study of insects. They both come from Greek through slightly different paths, but it is so interesting how they can sound so similar and yet be so different.

Which makes me glad that I do not speak a language that is completely dependent on tones and nuance. Yes, English has nuance, and people certainly need help in enunciation and pronunciation (but that is a completely different story). Then again, enunciation and pronunciation are interesting words in and of themselves. I always wondered how pronunciation lost its ‘o’. Think about it. We pronounce words, but words have their own pronunciation. What happened to the ‘o’ when the verb became a noun? Such horror.

Well, I know that there is much more to thinking about words. People study words. They may even make their careers out of studying words. Which I am not making fun of. I take words seriously, even when I am making fun of them.

I am sure there are many more interesting things about words and many more interesting words than I could ever mention here in a simple blog post. But however much fun I may or may not have made about words. I do think they are interesting. You just need to be curious and find out more. And like I said in the beginning, do not take my word for it. (By the way, is it clever word play, if you did not notice it until later? Especially if it was your own inadvertent word play? Hmm.)

© 2024 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Too Many Thoughts · 17 February 2024

Sometimes I have too many thoughts. Just not a lot to write about.

I am sure that we all have times when our minds are full of thoughts. Thoughts of good things or bad things or things in between. Just tons of thoughts. So many thoughts that you cannot keep track of them or maybe even make sense of them all. That is not my problem today. Today, I just have too many thoughts that drag me away from writing a coherent blog post.

Now, lest you say that I rarely write a coherent blog post… Hmm. Now that I think of it, I may or may not write coherent blog posts. Actually, I think that they are usually coherent. They just wander from topic to topic. Not that a single blog post wanders (although that has happened). I just tend to wander from topic to topic on my site. Which is why I call my site, Musings of MediocreMan. (And, yes. At least one person out there keeps telling me to keep striving to become mediocre.)

Where was I? Oh yes. One topic. Or was it too many thoughts?

I am not sure that I like having too many thoughts. It is disconcerting in some ways. It is like trying to turn the faucet off, but the water keeps coming. Thoughts keep coming and coming and coming. You get the idea. Thankfully though, I am able to sleep. Maybe not well, but close. Still, getting close to restful sleep is not restful. At least not too restful.

I wonder how I used to relax. I wonder how I used to be able to not have too many thoughts in my mind. Maybe it is just that there are so many problems in the world and in life. Maybe it is that there are too many worries and doubts and fears. Which is funny. None of those things have ever been a problem for me before. I only used to be a worrywart when I was a kid. My mom used to say, “Stop being a worrywart.” Which is a strange word, by the way.

Think about it. What is a worrywart anyway? A wart that worries? That is odd in and of itself. What would a wart need to worry about? Getting taken off? I suppose so. But why do people say that others are worrywarts? It is so confusing.

(Pause. I just looked it up. If the internet is to be believed, worrywart was originally a comic strip character named Worry Wart. Which is funny. All those times my mom told me not to be a worrywart, she was telling me not to be a comic strip character. Okay. Words change and morph their meanings. She was just telling me not to worry.)

Okay. I guess that I have bungled this blog post. Words are on the page, but I am not sure they make any sense whatsoever. I guess that is what happens when I have too many thoughts, but none to write about.

© 2024 Michael T. Miyoshi

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