Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Word: a thing you dissect

One of my favorite movie scenes ever is in the "Black Sheep" starring Chris Farley and David Spade. They're driving a county-mountie patrol car to the governor's acceptance speech with plans to crash (pardon the pun) the party with news that the winner of the race cheated her way into office.

On the way, the nitrous tank in the back seat ruptures, and funny fumes start infiltrating the car. Farley and Spade's characters are overcome by the gas leak without realizing it. At one point, the characters start pulling apart words and laughing at them for the way they sounds.

"Roooo aadds." "Roaaaads." "Roooooooods."

"That's a funny word."

I've had this conversation -- honestly, no alcohol or narcotic was involved in the preparation of this blog post -- regarding funny-sounding words in the English language. It's funny how certain words affect people.

Here's a list of the ones I find strange:

Giggle: Def -- To laugh with repeated short, spasmodic sounds.
My mother called me a giggle box when I was four years old. Something about the sound of those two "G" sounds followed my an "L" hits my funny bone with the force of the desk corner. I can't help but laugh when I hear this word.

Scooter: Def -- From the word "Scoot," to go suddenly and speedily; hurry.
I never found this word strange until my husband dissected it one night while we watched Ren & Stimpy in college. Ever since then, I can't help hearing the strangeness of scooter.

Avarice: Def -- Immoderate desire for wealth; cupidity.
I don't find this word funny. I find the idea of this word as a noun and its definition funny. This word would be so much better if it were an adjective, and it's common use should include way more than the desire for wealth. Could you imagine what it would be like if someone could have "avarice thoughts" about another? Wow.

Quasquicentennial: Def -- a 125th anniversary
Not only does this word sound funny, it's nearly impossible to spell without a dictionary. It's also pointless to use in a sentence because no one really knows how many years are in a quasquicentennial and it's more character spaces than typing 125th anniversary and it's a heckofalot more difficult to say.

Colloquialism: Def -- a local or regional dialect expression
Another impossible-to-spell word that just sounds funny.

Those are a few of mine. How about you? Are there any strange words out there that just get you going?

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