Words, words, words


My post this week is going to be a bit of a mish-mash (I know–what else is new??). Like Megan, I’ve been working on a new proposal, and have expended a lot of energy at the day job pretending to be entering sales data into the computer while actually revising my synopsis or looking at websites on Imperial Russia and Go Fug Yourself (shhh! Don’t tell). I’ve also spent a lot of time watching Project Runway and Dancing With the Stars, my current obsessions in life. My thoughts are always occupied with things like “Is Laura right–did Jeffrey have help sewing his collection? And wow, that past drug addiction thing really explains those tattoos. And how can I end chapter two on a cliffhanger?” And, after reading Janet’s post, “I must eliminate all ‘manroot’ from my WIP! And ‘petals of passion.’ And stop beginning sentences with ‘and’.”

Anyway, to get off the Irrelevancy Train and onto my post. My topics this week are inspired by Elena’s post on the forthcoming Persuasion movie, and by Janet’s post on language (sort of). I love costume films, and I’m not really terribly picky about what I watch. Good, bad, horrible, bizarre–if it has long dresses and accents of some sort, I’m there. On Megan’s ‘guilty pleasures’ post, I could have listed a dozen. Not that I don’t sometimes gripe about them afterward, or pick apart the details of the costume design and the sets, but that’s all part of the fun.

And one thing I found to be a great deal of fun this past week was Masterpiece Theater’s new version of Casanova (part two airing tomorrow night). I was wary after that dumb Heath Ledger/Sienna Miller movie a few months ago, which totally wasted the glories of Venice and some not–bad costumes on a film far too dull even to be a guilty pleasure. I’m also usually not much for the ‘modernist’ approach to costume drama–Moulin Rouge gave me a headache. But Casanova is charming and so full of giddy fun I totally enjoyed it. There’s also genuine emotion, and a sense of exhiliration in some of the scenes (like Casanova’s engagement ball with the former castrato Bellino–it’s a long story, involving unexpected revelations of the sausage variety. The clothes are a swirl of reds, golds, and bright blues, with soaring music and unrealized love). It’s not perfect–nothing ever is. I’m not entirely convinced that David Tennant (pictured above–he’s also the new Dr. Who!) grows up to be Peter O’Toole. And Henritte’s hairdo is VERY distracting. It must take hours to tie in all those bows just so she looks like she forgot to take her curlers out before she left the house. But it’s all great fun. I can’t wait to see what happens in Part Two!

The other part of my post has to do with language. Every year the Washington Post sponsors a neologism contest, where they ask readers to send in alternate meanings to common words. The results are always entertaining! Here are a few of my favorites from this year:
Flabbergasted: appalled over how much weight you have gained
Abdicate: to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach (sadly applied to me!)
Esplanade: to attempt an explanation while drunk
Negligent: describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown
Gargoyle: olive-flavored mouthwash
Balderdash: a rapidly receding hairline
Pokemon: a Rastafarian proctologist
(There was also a Style Invitational, where readers were asked to take a word, alter it by adding, subtracting, or adding one letter, and supply a new definition. Some favorites:)
Bozone: the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating
Cashtration: the act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period
Sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it
Osteopornosis: a degenerate disease (this one got extra credit!)
Karmageddon: it’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the earth explodes and it’s like a serious bummer

So, now it’s your turn. Any new costume films you like? Or hate? Or any ideas for your own neologisms? I would try and supply one myself, but I’m afraid my mind is affected by the bozone layer at the moment, and entirely taken up with constructing my dreaded synopsis. Plus, wondering if Mario and Karina on Dancing With the Stars actually ARE an item off the dance floor, or if that’s just a D-listed rumor. Plus, wondering if I have now spent far too much time reading D-listed.

Have a great weekend!

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Words, words, words

Comments are closed.