My love of words has done many things both to and for my life. Both good and bad. Words have gotten me in to situations that wouldn’t have come about had I not opened my pie-hole, and they have gotten me out of situations that came up regardless of whether I had a decent vocabulary or not. It’s usage, not depth of linguistic knowledge, that helps in these situations.
I find myself becoming older by the minute as I listen to the modern lyrics and the self-serving poetry of today’s world. Mainstream rap (the most modern form of poetry) has become nothing more than, “Look at ME!” and the self-aggrandizing lyrical strut of societal mutants trying to attain the un-obtainium by being harder than the guy who came before. Cash the check, Snoop Lion, there’s a new selfish brat taking your place.
This lyrical strut is the verbal equivalent of the fuel in Lance Armstrong’s bio-cocktail of oxygenated blood and steroids. (Everybody else was doing it!) It’s the need for Performance Enhancing Drugs in baseball. Baseball of all sports. Next thing you know we’ll be reading about PEDs in curling – the last clean sport on the planet. It’s the reverberating hum of human nature’s self imposed pressure to become the next great thing. Capitalism has a direct roll in this, but that’s a topic for a whole other column.
Words are murder. Words are love. Words are what make us human. Our ability to communicate complicated thoughts and theories has propelled us, as humans, to a level beyond all other species on our planet, and one that parallels countless science fiction novels. We are not alone, and it is my hope, that when we meet beings from another planet, we can communicate in a manner that allows us to maintain some dignity before we become slaves to the Grays. I won’t go too deep into my thoughts on this to avoid stirring up a conversation with my wife that I’m ill-equipped to handle.
I assure you, there is a point to this pedantic rant and it’s coming in just a second. Like my love of words, I have a deep love of books. Paper, to be more specific. I love paper when it’s covered with beautiful words, paint, toner or graphite. I horde paper in all of its forms. Loose leaves, bound and blank, 70 lb, 120 lb, glossy, matte, machine printed or hand written, I don’t care. Books store words and I love words. The joy of a new book lasts long after the last word is digested and the book is left to gather dust on the shelf. I relive the emotions I felt while reading each book when I gaze at the titles jumbled up and piled on inadequate shelf space. To point out the obvious, this is most likely why I ended up in the publishing business.
Now comes the point you’ve been waiting for (if you’re still reading this mess). I have been moonlighting at EASY 94.1 radio on Saturday afternoons up until recently when sports programming overtook my time slot for a few weeks. During my brief hiatus, station owner Don Tlapek decided to take the Word of the Day segment of my Saturday show to a daily format. Now I get to express my logophilia on the air 365 times a year! You’ll get to hear slang, Old English, rare or obsolete words, colloquialisms and more. The best part for me is that I get to dig through all of my wonderful books and papers to find fun words and sentences to entertain and enlighten those of you who still partake in the original social media – the radio!