I, apparently, didn’t learn the English language right.
I live in Colorado where we have four distinct seasons so every year I struggle with a word that, in a fair and just universe, would be an actual word. In a logical, well-constructed language, this would be a word. Snew. That, my friends, should be the past tense of snow! Think about it. I am throwing a football today, yesterday I threw it. I know it, I knew it. It is snowing today. Yesterday it snew a foot. I would have thrown a snowball had I known it had snown. A less frequently used example is: I read (reed) well. Yesterday I read (red) the paper. I lead (leed) a choir. Last Sunday I lead (led) the choir. I knead (need) bread dough. Yesterday I (You see where this is going, don’t you?) knead (ned) bread dough. It’s not ‘yesterday I readed’, so why is it ‘kneaded’? Thank goodness I don’t bake.
One time, while sitting in a meeting with people I did not know and whom I wanted to impress with my brilliance, I tried to say ‘philosophical’. Phi-lo-soph-i-cal. It came out phi-lo-so-phi-cal, rhyming with pickle. Oh, come on, English language! Why do you do this to me? The root word is ‘philosophy’. Philosophy! Add the suffix, and you should have, if life was fair, philosophical. I said that word, the one that rhymes with ‘pickle’, about three times, trying to get it to work, pronouncing it more slowly each time to try to see where it was going wrong. In a meeting. With people. Professional people. Educators. Man, it would have been so much better if someone had laughed, shook their head at this poor imbecile, and helped. But nobody did. They just sat there watching me try super hard to figure it out, my face scrunching up, my eyes rolling back, my head cocked to the side. Like the Orange is the New Black Character, Crazy Eyes.
Another problem I have with this language is that I get words mixed up with each other. A completely wrong word will come out of my mouth. Usually the two words (the right one and the imposter) have something in common– same first letter, same amount of letters, maybe the same number of syllables, or they rhyme. For example, I had just gotten back from a road trip to Vegas and was excited to tell Mike about Colorado City, a Fundamental Latter Day Saints community. I said, “…and on the way home, we drove through this community of plagiarists!” Plagiarists, polygamists. Tomayto, tomahto…
Jolie reminded me of the time I told her to be sure to put her sandwich in a bandaid. Did you know what I meant, Jolie? Yes, of course I meant ‘baggie’. If the purpose of language is to convey understanding, ‘bandaid’ worked. Does she remember all the wise and amazing things I have said over the years? Um, no. Because she is a brat and karma has made sure she has the same affliction, so HA!
I have yelled for ‘Peepee’ to come more than once. (My dog’s name is Poppy.)
Carson remembers when I told him to vacuum the lawn. Well, Carson, I remember when I asked you to sweep the driveway and you used the vacuum cleaner.
And then there are the ones that I realize midway through that it isn’t right, but I just keep going, hoping adding on syllables will make something intelligible. Like ‘phunaminass’. I was trying to say phenomenal and bad ass, I believe.
On my very first job interview for a teaching position, the principal liked me so much that I think he decided to hire me during my interview. He was taking me on a tour of the school and introducing me to people. One of the teachers was also a firefighter in an area that is notorious for always having wildfires, so I was trying to tell him, “Wow! You must have your work cut out for you!” or, “You must have your hands full!” What actually came out of my mouth with my youthful enthusiasm and charm, was, “Wow! You must have your hands cut off!” He responded, “Why, yes. Yes, I do.” And he walked away, shaking his head. I couldn’t even fix it. I’m pretty sure the only reason I still got hired was because it was a math position, not English.
The thing about this disorder is, it happens most often when I’m very excited about something so the Lynnisms are not just uttered, they are proclaimed. Expressed loudly and clearly for all to hear and remember forever. It is definitely getting worse with age. I can only hope that at my funeral, the church will be packed with people just laughing and sharing Lynnisms and shaking their heads…