’22 A To Z Challenge – E

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody loves a good fart joke.  Well, there are some prudes who stick their noses in the air, and claim that they don’t, but if someone farts, having your nose up in the air is a good thing.

What would a cow’s fart smell like?  Dairy air.

This week’s word to ponder is

EFFLUVIUM

a slight or invisible exhalation or vapor, especially one that is disagreeable or noxious.
an unpleasant smell or exhalation, as of gaseous waste or decaying matter

The discussion forum, Quora, asked, “When was the most inappropriate time that you farted?”  A young female clerk had to enter the vault of a Fortune 500 company to get some forms.  Shortly after she entered, Mother Nature insisted that she vent some gas.  This wasn’t a lady-like little toot.  She didn’t remember eating anything that would cause it, but it was a blast that almost blew the gusset out of her pantyhose, and smelled like she’d eaten a dead skunk.

She thought, ‘At least I’m here alone.  There’ll be time for it to dissipate before anyone else comes in.’  The thought was still rattling around in her head, when the Vice-President entered.  She didn’t say a word, just put her head down, and walked out, hoping that the stress would prevent him from recognizing or identifying her.

A female comic once claimed that, “Women don’t sweat, and we don’t fart.  Hell!  If we didn’t bitch, we’d explode!”

Social convention says that, when a fart sneaks up on you and you’re with someone, or a group, you’re supposed to admit to it, and apologize.  If you feel one coming on, you are expected to move to a location with a lower population density.

One day, I rolled out of bed and immediately left the bedroom, down the hall, and back into the bathroom.  There, I did what lots of husbands do.  I ripped a BIG one – about three yards of sail canvas – F-f-f-f-a-a-a-a-r-r-r-t-t-t.  From 30 feet, a hallway, and a different room, away, I heard –Archon??!

Yes, Dear?
Well, you could apologize.
There is no-one here to smell it, that I might apologize to.
Well, you could go somewhere else to do that.
I am in the bathroom, with the exhaust fan on.  Where else would you suggest that I go??

Now she’s angry because I just proved that I need not do either one of two things that she feels are imperative.  It’s not like we have an HOA, or even a Neighborhood Decorum Committee which can assess fines.

A comedian once discussed farting and flying.  The average person farts about every half-hour – nothing major, just little toots.  By the end of an eight-hour flight, 250 passengers will have produced a total of 4000 farts.  It’s no wonder that the baby was crying.

An award was given to Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia for his thesis on, “Sounds  Produced by Herring Bubble Release.”  Apparently, herring communicate by farting.

The average person’s output is about two cubic feet of gas per day.  Very early, NASA had to learn to develop filtration and compression systems for every space vehicle. With enough astronauts, and enough time, the pressure can rise high enough to cause a catastrophic blowout.

I am under no pressure to do anything but leave you with a wee chuckle.

We Don’t Speak Much English

Oh, we all speak English.  Compulsive, competitive, conversationalists like me speak/write more than most – but, how many words are there in the English language?

Many people estimate that there are more than a million words in the English language. In fact, during a project looking at words in digitized books, researchers from Harvard University and Google in 2010 estimated a total of 1,022,000 words, and that the number would grow by several thousand each year. The Oxford English dictionary expands every year to keep up with new words that are invented to describe the world around us, or to include new meanings for words that already exist in English. A more useful number from the Oxford English Dictionary would be the 171,476 words that are in current use, and about 45,000 which are archaic, and are not used in modern English..

That’s still a lot of words, though, and doesn’t reflect the number of words that individual English speakers actually use. For that number, let’s look at a recent study by the people at testyourvocab.com who say that adult native-speakers of English have a vocabulary that ranges from the McJob-holder’s 5000-10,000, most people’s 20,000-35,000, and smarty-pants show-off word-jugglers like me, who keep 50,00 to 70,000 words in the air at all times.

Obviously, these are not the same words and everyone’s vocabulary will include different words, according to their career, education and interests.  Every line of work has its own specialized ‘Jargon.’  The language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group:  The word pneumothorax isn’t going to show up, except at a Reno convention of surgeons.

There are three key numbers to remember: more than a million total words, about 170,000 words in current use, and 20,000-30,000 words used by each individual person.  No matter how many each of us use – we don’t speak MUCH English.

Truth be told, there is no “English language.”  Other languages are cohesive and logical.  English is like the Lost and Found at an international airport.  It (kinda) started with Briton Celtic, then the Romans added Latin, and words they dragged in from Greek.  The Jutes, Angles, and Saxons moved in to rule the island, and brought lots of Germanic words, and more Latin from their Roman occupation.

The Vikings brought fire and sword, and Norse words with them.  Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh, had their way with the tongue, and then the French invaded, bringing lots more Latin-based terms.  The “English” language, and those who speak it, continue to drag back words everywhere, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – from Aleut to Zulu.

Many times the kidnapped words are not used as they were in the host language.  In English, we sing the little song, Frère Jacques as ‘Brother John,’ but ‘Jacques’ in French, does not mean Jack = John in English.  It means Jacob = James.  We should be singing about Brother Jim.

I started this post because I found the word, ”matutinal” – meaning: pertaining to or occurring in the morning; early in the day, From the French word, Matin = morning.  When the French have a matineé, it occurs in the morning.  When we have a matineé, it happens in the afternoon.

Words become part of the accepted English language, the same way immigrants become citizens of a country – by naturalization.  If it’s used often enough, and for long enough – it’s English.  Some words/phrases just aren’t used enough, or they remain trapped in some jargon, and never become naturalized.

Cri de Coeur and voir dire, are heard, but remain French.  Ad Populum, actus reus and mens rea, remain Latin.  Pizza and Pizzazz have become part of English, but the musical word, pizzicato, remains Italian.

Even though I might only employ 5% of the English vocabulary, I’m happy to have more than enough words to interest, entertain and amuse you.  There’ll be another random offering in a couple of days.  😀

BEST DESCRIPTION OF A POLITICIAN I EVER HEARD

Turtle

While stitching up the cut on the hand of a 76 year-old farmer who got his hand caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with him.

Eventually the conversation got around to politicians, and their role as our leaders.

The old farmer said, “Well, as I see it, most of them are ‘post turtles’.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road, and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a ‘post turtle’.”

The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself. He doesn’t belong up there. He doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there. He’s elevated above his ability to function, and you wonder what kind of asshole put him up there.

Donald Trump

***

So there are these four men on a cruise ship, a Jamaican, a Russian, a Mexican-American, and an American.

One night these four men are on the deck of the ship.

The American guy walks up to the Jamaican guy, who takes out a huge smack of weed, and some paper and rolls this massive joint.  He lights it up, puts it to his lips, takes one puff and throws it over the side.  The American says “What are you doing?? Do you know how much that stuff in worth stateside?”

He says “Yeah mon, but in Jamaica we got so much of the stuff, it got no value, mon, worthless.”

The American guy walks away, and walks over to the Russian guy.  He takes out a huge bottle of Absolut, takes the cap off, takes a sip and tosses it over the side, into the seas.  The American says “What are you doing?? Do you know how much that stuff in worth in the States?”

He says “Yes but in ‘lussian, we got so much ‘wodka, it got no value.  What you say, i’s worthless.”

So the American turns away.  He then walks up to the Mexican-American.

He throws him overboard.

***

A group of Arab terrorists burst into the conference room at the Ramada Hotel where the American Bar Association was holding its Annual Convention.  More than a hundred lawyers were taken as hostages.

The terrorist leader announced that, unless their demands were met, they would release one lawyer every hour.

***

How dare you drive the speed limit when I’m late for something due to my own poor time management skills?

***

Two guys are drinking in a bar.
They pull out the sandwiches their wives had lovingly prepared, and tuck in. The bartender comes over and says “You can’t eat your own food in here.” so they swapped sandwiches.

***

 

All Day, And All Of The Night

fire-roger-bultot

30% of you either can’t count, or don’t know the difference between day and night – or both. Now that you’re insulted, here’s why.

In the picture above, the ‘No Parking’ sign says “from 10 AM to 12 PM.”  I know that they mean only for two hours, but the sign takes it from one ‘time zone’ into another, making it seem as if it indicates fourteen.

Let’s start at the bottom. There is no 12 AM or 12 PM!  The M stands for meridiem, noon, the split second that the sun is highest in the sky.  AM is ante meridiem – before noon.  PM is post meridiem – after noon.  You can’t have a 12:00 o’clock noon that is before noon, or after noon.

I recently was researching something on Dictionary.com, and came across this statement, “Noon is conventionally expressed as 12 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. and midnight as 12 a.m. or 12:00 a.m.” Some quick research revealed that only 30% of people believe that.  Like a bunch of dentists in Reno, it’s not really that big a convention.

I like the Military or Medical way of doing things. With 1200, or 2400, there’s no doubt or confusion.  Son Shimoniac sets his wristwatch to 24 Hour time, or he used to, until he decided to get two pocket watches, one for work, one for dress.

No Parking sign painters in NYC used to be part of the 30% wrong-way crowd, until a court challenge proved them wrong – or at least so confusing as to be unenforceable. Signs had to be repainted, indicating noon as ‘noon’ or ‘Nn’, and midnight as ‘Mn.’

Yin Yang

Let’s learn to count. Did you start at 1, and end at 12?  Actually, you started at zero, and stopped at 12.  If 2 follows 1, and 3 follows 2, and 4 follows 3….then 12 follows 11.  If 1, and 2, and 3.…and 11 are AM, then 12 is AM too.  You don’t start counting at 12, and end at 11.  Like the Yin/Yang, you begin with the least, and end with the most.  The one chronon – noon (or midnight) – between 12:00 and 00:00 is where AM turns to PM.

I was going to continue with my usual long-winded rant, but it’s like explaining that water is wet. If you still don’t get it, if you don’t understand that 12 comes after 11, not before, I can’t help you.  Don’t blame me when you get a parking ticket.  Like the band Chicago’s song, 25 or 6 to 4 – Does anybody really know what time it is?    😕