Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lexicon, Part Two

This morning my office feels kinda nice - this is because I was on a slooooooow and un-air-conditioned train and arrived at work feeling like a big gross sweat-pig (see below). I'm assuming the meat-locker aspect of the room will get me eventually, but for now it's not half bad! Thank you Jeana for pointing out that resemblance. Somehow I had missed that!

I realized right after publishing the LaLa Lexicon last month that there were some important terms left out of it. (By the way, you should note and applaud the fantastically savvy technological thing I just did there, linking to that post. That's waaaaaaay beyond my usual skills!) Since the Lexicon is a living, changing language thing, there will probably always be terms that will need to be added, so I will update it as necessary. Feel free both to add words of your own and to take these terms for your own use (she said magnanimously).

Here is the second installment of the LaLa Lexicon:

Delicate blossom. Noun. When one is simply too fragile to tolerate the circumstances of normal every day living any more, and one expresses this in a rather fragile Victorian-consumptive sort of way, one is a delicate little blossom. (One usually deserves the derision that will soon follow this identification.)

Disco object. Noun. An object that is somehow so interesting, appealing and charismatic that it will draw people to it even if they don’t know what it is. As a museum curator I like disco objects because they’re a good way to catch visitors’ attention. Note: Disco objects are not necessarily covered in sequins, mirrors, or John Travolta pompadours, although I’m not ruling that out.

Djeet? Contraction. Components are “Did you eat?”

Grumperini. Noun. When a person is sooooo grumpy that the only noises and faces s/he makes are of the grumpy-grouchy kind, and s/he refuses to cheer up, then that person is a Grumperini. History: the term came from my sister’s infancy, when she was prone to making these funny grumpy-sounding protests all the time, despite the fact that she was in fact, not all that grumpy. We have since modified the term to apply to real grumps, not just baby wannabes.

Helpy. Adjective. Appearing to be helpful but really just getting in the way. Example: most cats.

Hissy-fit. Noun. A fit so dramatic that there is a lot of hissing and yelling, arm-waving and probably swearing. Often just the threat of a hissy-fit will serve as a proper deterrent. No one really wants to see that. It is useful to know exactly when and where to throw a hissy-fit – for example, when confronted by certain apparently immovable forces. Immovable forces tend to move, even to hustle, when faced with a genuine hissy-fit. One shouldn’t over-use the hissy-fit – it gets less powerful with repeated exposure, and leaves one open to the accusation of poor behavior.

Huffy. Adjective. (NOT a bike.) When one is offended or miffed and shows it in one’s manner toward others in chilly speech or by heaving great dramatic sighs at being so put upon in this Cinderella-esque manner, one is huffy. Being huffy usually implies that you are expressing discontent but you are not directly communicating the exact causes to the person/cause in your vicinity. Huffiness is meant to convey emotion and also to provoke responses. The downside to this is that the responses provoked are generally NOT the ones the huffy person wants (very slim chance of getting that right, really) and that leads to more huffiness, maybe even snarkiness (see snarky).

Love on someone. Verb. To love on someone is to shower them with praise and warm attention, mainly to soothe ruffled feathers or to butter them up. Those of us who do a regular amount of fund-raising are accustomed to loving on a particular potential donor on a fairly regular basis. When you really have your work cut out for you, you looooooove on someone (accompanied by a shimmy dance and petting motions, but not in the presence of the someone you’ll be loving on.) Sometimes if you know someone who’s huffy, loving on them will sweeten their mood.

Made your tail frizz! Exclamation. Said to someone when they walk into a room and they are startled by your presence there. Refers to the phenomenon of a cat’s tail frizzing up when he’s startled by something unexpected.

Museum fatigue. Noun. That feeling you get when you’ve been in a museum too long. Not a set time period, more a reaction to the combination of exhibit content, size of museum, the day’s weather, the crowd, your choice of footwear, and the last time you ate. Everyone is prone to it, even professionals.

Museum speed. Noun. The individual pace at which each person moves through a museum. Only becomes apparent or problematic when people of different museum speeds attempt to visit a museum in each other’s company. What follows next usually leads quite rapidly to museum fatigue and general huffiness.

‘Ometer. Noun. Pronounced AH-meh-ter. Name for useful machine thingies that don’t really have a better handle.

Shy woodland creature. Noun. Those people who simply cannot be coaxed out of their shells, who are skittish in the face of society, of direct conversation, or of anything having even the remotest relation to an emotion – those are shy woodland creatures. They retreat faster than Bambi.

Snarf. Verb. To inhale your food really quickly, possibly while making muppety eating noises. Example: I snarfed down those cookies in a flash.

Snarky. Adjective. Grumpy and sarcastic and more grumpy. Example: Grumperini was really snarky when he found out I’d eaten his cookies.

Soap operatic. Adjective. When you indulge your inner diva, your sense of hyperbole and your gift for melodrama, you are probably being soap operatic. Also, if you try to have a conversation with someone while s/he stands directly behind you – that’s definitely soap operatic.

Sweat-pig. Noun. When you’ve gotten all gross and sweaty and only a thorough scrubbing will make you clean again you have become a sweat pig. Congratulations.


l-bean said...

One of my favorite words: F-plan. This is used to describe the floor plan of an historic building that has been completely modified (or, f'ed up) by someone who has added on, changed fenestration, or whatever. You know what the house is SUPPOSED to look like, but it certainly doesn't anymore. It's an F-plan.

Stacey said...

I already use some of these in my own dialogue, but I still need to thank you for the addition of "cat bagel" to my repetoire. Many people have had a good chuckle over that one! :-)

Big Kitty Fun said...

I applaud the proper use of "love" - very good explanation of the love dance. Think I should point out, however, that snarf can have a VERY different meaning. A la, milk coming outchya nose. Totally fross.

LaLa said...

Ooo, good use of the word 'fross'! I totally forgot that one.

Fross. Adjective. When something is really gross, it's fross. Courtesy of my nephew Caden-3yrs, who employs a cavalier approach to certain consonants.

Pumpkin said...

(Grinning happily)I'm very pleased with myself for finding your blog......have just been reading all your posts in the last wee while and girl, I think Museum Curator is a cool as hell job, and you've made me laugh out loud so many times I've lost count.
Me thinks me will be linking to you lass, on my wee page!