of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
A snafu (snah-foo) is like a small stone in your shoe. Or, your dog eating your homework. Or your mother burning dinner. What it means is a situation that should be working out has been taken hostage by something that is messing it up. The word is actually an acronym—a word made up by the initials of other words it stands for:
Situation Normal: All Fouled Up
So, when things should be running routinely, like walking, doing homework, or making dinner, and something happens to foul it up, the situation hits a snafu or turns into a snafu. Either would be correct.
This would be a great word to try out on your parents or your teacher when something goes afoul in your life. Simply say, "I'm sorry, but I ran into a snafu."
Propinquity is the state of being close to someone or something, whether physically or emotionally. My propinquity to words has led to this website and the cause of literacy. I also have a great propinquity to my mother who taught me to love words. I wish I didn't have such a propinquity to chocolate.
I like the word pastiche (pas-teesh) because it is one of those words that can be either a noun (thing) or a verb (action). What it means is also that way. It means copy, as in a copy of or to copy another's artistic style.
If someone at school paints a picture in the same style as you, you could tell the teacher they pastiched your art or their work is a pastiche of your art.
However, you should know, that many famous artists tried their hand at copying the styles of others. Among them are Vincent Van Gogh and Grant Wood. Also, remember that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If someone is copying your style, it is probably because they admire it. Tell them to pastiche away!
Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and a pastiche of the same.
This looks like it might be pronounced (in-you-eye), but that is not so. Ennui is pronounced (on-we). Now, as far as definition goes, I would tell you what it means, but I am a little out-of-sorts. I'm rather dissatisfied with my life and don't feel like doing much right now. Do you know why? It is because I am filled with ennui.
I am actually ennui-free. I am full of life and excitement and do not suffer at all from this condition. You see, ennui means to be dissatisfied with life due to lack of things to do or lack of excitement. Students often experience ennui during summer vacation. Parents hear the Ennui Anthem--
"I don't have anyone to play with or anything to do.
My life is filled with ennui. I'm in need of something new."
A cat suffering with ennui.
If you were to throw some leftover meat and some leftover vegetables into a pot and cover them with water and cook them into a stew, you could call that stew slumgullion (slum-gull-lyun), which sounds so much more interesting than plain old leftover stew. Slumgullion is a cheap stew of meat and vegetables that is made to fill you up, though perhaps not satisfy you. My mother used to call anything she threw together with leftovers slumgullion. It could be a casserole, soup, or stew.
Some people call this slumgullion. Others call it ghoulash, American ghoulash, Johnnie Marzetti, American chop suey, and a host of other things. I call it delicious.
I am Becky Lyn Rickman. I am a writer because I love words almost as much as I love the people in my life. I want to fill the world with magnificent words and then jump in and splash around in them. I live with Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, my cats, but the only words they really love are "meat" and "gravy."