October 1, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | October 1, 2007 |


Ten years ago, when I moved from the South to the Northeast, I found that nearly everywhere I went, people kept asking me “Are you all set?” or just simply, “All set?” At restaurants, in particular, members of the wait staff had a tendency to ask, around the time I’d finished my dinner, if I was “all set?” And I didn’t have a goddamn clue what they meant by it. “All set?” What the hell was that supposed to mean? Indeed, it took me several months to realize that “all set” meant a variety of things, including “Are you done?” “You okay?” or even a passive-aggressive means of saying, “fuck off.”

Anyway, I mention this by way of introduction to today’s comment diversion. This afternoon, we’re not going to test you on your favorite music, movie, or literary subcategories or genres, we’re going to get a little nonsensical. Having written reviews for three-plus years now, I’ve pretty much exhausted my vocabulary, so today we’re reaching out to you good folks to help us expand our lexicon or, better still, give us some insight into particular words that get under your skin. So, here’s five questions (and, by way of example, my own answers) about words and expressions. I suspect that, language-wise, many of you have a lot in common. Let’s see. All set?

1) What’s your favorite word? Prestidigitation.

2) What’s your favorite word from a foreign language? Kugelschreiber (German for ball-point pen).

3) What’s your least favorite word? There are two: Greasy, as in, and especially, “greasy boners,” and spoon, as in “Spoon me, Daddy-O.” But nothing is more toxic to the ear than the combination of both: Greasy spoon. It’s a diner, for God’s sake. Say diner!

4) What’s your favorite colloquial expression? “Not a man, child, or woman alive …”

5) What’s your favorite regional word? To dicker (Southern for, “To bargain.”)

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Fun With Words and Expressions

An Afternoon Comment Diversion / Dustin Rowles

Comment Diversions | October 1, 2007 | Comments ()




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