Monday, July 20, 2009

Beth Ohlsson - Language 1-5

1. ker·fuf·fle : \kər-ˈfə-fəl\ noun
Etymology: alteration of carfuffle, from Scots car- (probably from Scottish Gaelic cearr wrong, awkward) + fuffle to become disheveled. 1946. chiefly British : disturbance, fuss

While driving to TN on July 12, I used the time to catch up with friends. A conversation with my best friend contained my new favorite phrase. She was talking about her son,William, who had been involved in a misunderstanding at his place of employment. It appeared that there was some misunderstanding and William had managed to at least annoy, if not enrage, just about everyone within ear shot of his words. As it's William's first summer job, he got caught up in the drama of it all and was catastrophizing the event as he relayed it to his mother. Cat, ever the one who is grounded said, " 'Caused a kerfuffle did you?" And she laughed.

What I loved about this reported exchange is that it didn't negate her son's experience. What it offered was some much needed perspective and some much needed humor. Having known William's flair for the dramatic, coupled with anxiety run rampant and teenage hormones, takes him out control, and his mama stepped in and brought the incident down to a manageable size. Then the learning could begin. I really admire her ability to know just what word to use when.

2. Verbal vomit is a term used to describe the monologue in which person A dumps his/her troubles on a willing listener, person B. It is also called "spilling your guts out." One must be a person of great importance to be granted this privilege w/out repercussion or consequence. It can be ugly and painful while in process, however, what is expelled from the person is the words that contain the toxic feelings and experiences, rather than any sort of ingested toxin. The effect is quite cathartic for person A. This is why one must have a best friend to return the favor. Interesting that the metaphor uses the words from the digestive tract which is the 3rd chakra...where all the survival stuff lives... I thought about it today when I was listening to a woman whom I sponsor in a 12 Step fellowship...

3. Daft dimbo comes to us from the new Harry Potter movie, which many of us went to see Sunday night. Ron Beasley has been injured and he is in the infirmary @ Hogwart's. Hermione is by his bedside when Ron's hearthrob flies into the room, stands at the end of the bed, and asks if Ron has asked for her. Hermione stares at her and with great venom, spits out a reply, "You daft dimbo!"

4. After the Teller in Residence performance last week, Teju provided us with rich language and imagery even after the show during the discussion portion of the afternoon. When asked how he became a storyteller, he summarized the story with "through a confluence of extraordinary events." Not only is this a rich epithet, it implies a 'tale too long for the tellin' ; one that has more than a few unpleasant occurances that just don't matter any more. It also set a boundary in a very poetic way. I think it is a phrase worth remebering.

5. Later in that conversation, Teju was describing the evolution of his own particular style and brand of storytelling. David Novak interjected a phrase which I did not here, but Teju certainly did. Teju's response to David's words were, " That's my technique. He just peeped it." And Teju laughed heartily, as did David. I'd never heard the word used quite that way, but it seemed to imply that Teju had been 'found out', exposed in some way, or perhaps simply validated.

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