I’m what they call a word person, preferring “viridian” to dreary green and never uttering “confused” when “flummoxed” is within reach.
An English major whose motif-musing and allusion-hunting skills have proved all but useless in the real world, I take admittedly odd delight in the careful craft of sentence-smithing.
One of my prized possessions is a tome titled “The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate,” and I fling myself from bed each morning to savor my Word of the Day e-mail from dictionary.com — a wellspring of toothsome terms like numinous, doff and foofaraw.
I challenge myself to use each new word in conversation before the week is over, and just never you mind whether I’m successful or not. The point is I want to.
That is why I find parenting to be a bit of a bore. As a mother, I estimate 87 percent of the sentences that spring from my mouth are vapid. Artless. In fact, they border on asinine. And most of them should go without saying:
“Stop hitting yourself.” “Get your jacket out of the peanut butter.” “No spitting in Mommy’s bed.” There’s the perennial, “You must use a tissue for that” and the all-too-frequent, “Well, would you like it if I called YOU an oogie bananahead?” I recently heard myself say, “We never ever lick the bottoms of our shoes.” And I wondered what the devil had become of my dexterity for discourse — let alone my children’s common sense.