Sunday, April 19, 2009


Words are just neat.

I freely acknowledge that if I had not been born in an English-speaking country, I would find English incredibly cumbersome, illogical, and unwieldy.

Because it is.

When I was young, there was a movement/attempt towards creating an international language of "Esperanza " - based on Spanish and English, but designed to be simple, logical and easy.

It didn't seem to get very far (do you know anyone who speaks Esperanza?), and I probably am the only person who remembers it - because Esperanza is my name in Spanish.

Some words have always been extra cool to me - like antidisestablishmentarianism. My brother taught that to me when I was real little, supposedly as the longest word in the English language.

There is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilcovolanconiosis - but it was invented just to be longer than antidisestablishmentarianism, and isn't found in most dictionaries.

And there is a protein's name that is longer - but Windows Explorer shuts down every time I try to cut and paste it into this blog.

But the word that is both pretty long and is incorporated in just about every aspect of my life is anthorpomorphism. That's attributing human characteristics to non-human things.

Like seeing a person's facial outline in a mountain range - the outline of a lion in a taco - and things like naming your car.

I didn't realize for a long time that not everyone does this. I mean, every single car I have ever owned has had a name. Charlie, Mac, Grey Ghost, Blue Goose, and right now I am driving Blanco (who is actually Blanca, but doesn't like having a girl's name. Even though she is a girl).

But when driving back from Phoenix this week, I asked my friend who drove us up what her car's name was - and she, get this, had never even thought about naming ANY of her cars.

Please, please, people, tell me that you name your cars. That's I'm not the only one in the world.

Oh, and the title word? Means "the act of establishing as worthless."

Fits this blog perfectly, doesn't it?


Bill Chapman said...

By "Esperanza" I think you mean the planned international language Esperanto. I speak it, and a couple of million of other people do. Take a look at

Good wishes from Wales in thev United Kingdom.

Sailing Past Maturity Straight into Senility said...

Traduku, Bill (is that correct?)!

Since I learned about Esperanto (I stand corrected) growing up in Los Angeles, I always assumed it was sort of a 'local' thing with Spanish and English.

Of course, I also didn't think that the Beach Boys were popular any place outside of Malibu until I moved away from California, so...