I just have an irresistible urge to tell you about my new dog. He’s a cute little thing. He’s a registered Greek sheep-herding dog. He doesn’t empty his bladder or his bowels in the house, but he does wander around shedding excess vowels all over the floor. We call him
His name is from the Greek language, meaning an irresistible urge – mania. It originally meant of bad character – caco – ethos. I’m the bad character that he has to deal with.
I’m using him to ride herd on a bunch of other Greek terms that came in through the back door, into the English language – words like cacophony – which is a loud, disagreeable noise – or euphony, which is a lovely sound, like a teller counting out $50 bills for you – or euphemism, which is a pleasant word or phrase, substituted for a harsh or offensive one – or utopia – which means a pleasant or perfect place, but who parked too close to the dictionary, and got its initial letter E knocked off – or Phi Beta Kappa – which means a loud obnoxious frat keg toga party. It doesn’t matter. It’s all hyperbole, anyway.
I have found a euphemism being used by (those who wouldn’t say s**t if they had a mouthful) people of delicate sensibilities, but who don’t seem to understand either English or Greek. The phrase “fucked the dog” means idled, lazed, shirked work or other responsibility. It is being replaced, even by some reputable authors, with the supposedly less offensive, “screwed the pooch”, but which means erred, or messed up, particularly at a significant junction. Not the same thing at all.
My dog’s an alpha. If there’s any screwing going on, he’s the one doing it. Some of those sheep have a worried look. I’m not worried. I look forward to having you visit and read again soon. 😀