Tag Archives: words


*To heighten your experience, please read the title of this post in the manner of the “J-E-L-L-O” jingle and then carry on.

The word “hello” is only two syllables.

If you’re really feeling put out, the word “hi” is simply just one.

This means there really isn’t any reason not to say either one of those minimally syllabic words when they are thrown directly your way—even if said by a stranger. At the very least, you can finagle your lips into something that resembles a smile or nod your head in acknowledgment of said greeting.


It’s not that difficult.

However, I have noticed that there are quite a few people in this world that find the concept of saying “hello,” “thank you” and the like tantamount to reciting the Chinese National Anthem through interpretive dance.

In fact, some will go as far as to deliberately avoid making eye contact so they don’t have to flash a smile or return a greeting.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for extended chit-chat—there’s about a five minute window for that in my day—but rather just a polite “hi” if I actually made the effort myself. 

For example, there are a couple of routes I take when the weather permits me to go for my walks. Depending on when I go, there are others who are evidently also creatures of habit and walk the same general route. Some are really nice and we exchange general pleasantries — “Boy, it’s hot!” or “I think that those two squirrels are humping!”— as we pass.

If nothing else, we can smile and nod and pretend not to look at the squirrels.

However, then there are a couple people who I always walk by that refuse to acknowledge my “hi” and then my second-try smile. We pass within inches of each other on the sidewalk and they act like I’m not even there.

While I’m used to being ignored in social situations and sometimes actually prefer it, I deem this repeat behavior from strangers who haven’t had the opportunity to judge me highly unacceptable.

But I’m all about solutions, people, not excuses.

So instead of getting frustrated or disheartened at the declining congeniality of societal strangers as a whole, I’ve decided to up my game. The next time a repeat offender doesn’t say “hi” back or at least try and give me a smile, I’m going to  bust out my jazz hands and perform a bastardized version of “Rent” from Act 1 to the end.

All I want is one syllable or a freaking little smile, dammit.

Don’t make me bust out the jazz hands.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Say What?

There are times I’ll hear a song I’ve heard a million times before and suddenly realize I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics every single time. 

It doesn’t bother me that much because my version usually makes more sense anyway, but this means that when I hear someone else say them  “correctly,” I’m just as confused as when I found out John Fogerty was singing “Put me in, Coach” and not “Put me in a coma” in his song, “Centerfield.”

At any rate, things always sound better in my head—including a bunch of regular words and phrases I assign a certain phonetic pronunciation to that no one else has a clue about.

In other words, I nail 90s rap songs and pronounce “Worcestershire sauce” perfectly in my head every single time.

But there are some words that I know how to say correctly—the “real” correct and not the “Abby” correct—that I still occasionally choose to say somewhat phonetically from time to time, simply because it’s more fun.

Most of them are foreign. This means I sound fancy AND well-traveled in my own head when, for example, I talk about:

Tar-jay (Target), burr-rettes (berets), Vide-ul Sass-in (Vidal Sassoon) shampoo,  tore-tillahs (tortillas), whores de-vores (hors d’oeuvres), a kayfe (café), par-fits (parfaits), Chee-waa-waa or Chee-wah (Chihuahua) or la-zag-na (lasagna.)

Why am I telling you about a bunch of words that I say wrong because I’m easily amused? Good question, and I probably wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for an experience I had recently while at Tar-jay.

Follow along now, but don’t throw anything in the cart that’s not on the list.

So I was checking out at Tar-jay and told the cashier—“Stacey,” according to her name tag— that yes, Stacey, I did find everything I was looking for along with three dozen other things I never knew I needed. 

Because I said this out loud and know how to read, I was confident that her name was actually Stacey. However, she quickly informed me that, “It’s pronounced ‘C’, like in ‘cantaloupe.’  The s, t, a and y are all kind of silent. It’s easier that way!”

For cripe’s sake.

To preserve my own sanity and what little faith I had left in the human race, I had to believe that she thought that sounded better in her head. And while I probably should have thanked her for giving me something to blog about, I think you know me better than that.

So instead I told her, “That’s so funny! If you replace the s, t, c and e in your name, but add in two b’s, you have my name! The a, b’s and y are all silent though. It’s easier that way.”

Was that mean? Possibly, but she gave me a giggle along with my receipt so I doubt that much damage was done.

And after all, you know what they say: “S’est lah vye!”

Or to get technical: “C’est la vie” with a “c,” like in “cantaloupe.”

Put me in a coma.

Like the blog? Buy the book.