Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach
redscharlach

The Sunday Six: Don't You Think She Looks Eloquent?

You may have noticed that I spend a lot of time deploring the overuse of various popular items of internet vocabulary, and generally recommend that these be replaced with more conventionally eloquent forms of expression. However, I can also see that the public do enjoy novelty and neologisms and I don't want to take that fun away from them. With this in mind, I've decided to give you all a helping hand in the neverending struggle to keep your posts both literate and entertaining, by devoting this week's Sunday Six to:

Six Words I Think We Should All Use More Often

1. crumpet
n. a sexually attractive person

An Admirable Alternative to: hottie (I've never liked this word, it rhymes with spotty and potty), TEH SEXX (no comment)
Notes on Usage: While "crumpet" meaning "a tasty bread product eaten toasted and buttered" is a countable noun (e.g. "I ate two crumpets for breakfast"), "crumpet" meaning "totty" is uncountable. This means that you can't say, for example, "David Tennant is a crumpet", even if you are planning to consume him with a hot buttered topping. The correct usage is of course "David Tennant is a bit of crumpet" or possibly "David Tennant is the thinking woman's crumpet" (because of course, I am a thinking woman, and he does in fact belong to me).

2. tiffin
n. (Indian) a light meal; also, euph. anything else you might be doing while claiming to be having a snack.

An Admirable Alternative to: doing stuff you don't want to do.
Notes on Usage: We can thank the classic movie Carry On Up The Khyber for this underused gem. During this no-holds-barred portrayal of the British position in India, characters often used tiffin as an excuse for not being interrupted, usually because they were getting up to all sorts of nookie and naughtiness. I therefore think we should use it both for that purpose, AND as an all-purpose excuse for why we haven't done things yet, or why we're temporarily absent. So the next time someone whinges that you haven't posted in a while, stick up a "Gone For Tiffin" sign and let them figure it out themselves.

3. flibbertigibbet
n. a gossiping, frivolous or restless person

An Admirable Alternative to: Endless criticism of stupid people in various internet subgroupings. Simply categorize them to yourself as flibbertigibbets and you will find that they are no longer worth the expense of your valuable time and energy.
Notes on Usage: Another word with lovely cinematic associations, this time with The Sound of Music and "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria". So when someone next asks "How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?", just avoid the lecture on the scientific implausibility of nailing water vapor, call them a flibbertigibbet and there's an end to it. Simple!

4. strewth
int. a mild oath (from God's truth)

An Admirable Alternative to: OMG, WTF, BBQ and other endless chains of capital letters so regularly used to express frustration.
Notes on Usage: This word needs to be reclaimed from supposedly comic stereotypes of Australians and taken back to its Shakespearian roots. "Sblood!" was another Tudor exclamation, but it's bloody hard to say that one, particularly when you're in a big snit. But variety is of course the spice of life when it comes to cursing, so if you're feeling particularly roused, "Hell's teeth!" is another favourite of mine that rolls off the tongue in a satisfying fashion.

5. palaver
n. & v. fuss and bother, esp. of a prolonged and tedious variety

An Admirable Alternative to: The co-opting of the good old Anglo-Saxon word "wanking" to mean internet fuss and bother, when its original meaning is still so universally prevalent and requires a satisfying term.
Notes on Usage: Another good way of dismissing foolishness and disassociating yourself from it. The most regular collocations are "It was a right palaver", "There's a bit of a palaver going on" and "I'm not getting myself mixed up with that palaver". And thus declared, you may retire for tiffin.

6. gubbins
n. a set of paraphernalia; a gadget; something of little value; also a foolish person

An Admirable Alternative to: stuff, thingies, wotsit and general OMGWTFBBQ.
Notes on Usage: Set phrases include "utter gubbins", "a right load of gubbins", and "some old gubbins". Such as this list for example. Ahem.

* * * * *

In other gubbins, I was deliriously entertained by Dancing On Ice, John Barrowman is truly the saviour of light entertainment (as well as being the skating man AND woman's crumpet), and yeah, I'm still working on my dw_santa story, which is a right palaver but I will attempt to finish it this week. It's my flibbertigibbet of a muse's fault for giving me an idea that looked dead simple but is actually fiendishly tricky to pull off. Strewth. So if I'm not around here, it's because I'm somewhere trying to... errr... pull it off. Just tell everyone I'm having tiffin....
Tags: crumpet, sunday six
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