Friday, August 31, 2007

Secret Word of the Day

When I was a child, I sometimes (usually when there was nothing else on) watched the show "Pee-wee's Playhouse."* In a nutshell, this show consisted of the host, Pee-wee (played by Paul Reubens), who would do crazy things with a cast of characters for 30 minutes. This was all designed to make kids laugh, but usually it made me want to pull my hair out, especially the infamous "Secret Word of the Day" segment. In this segment, Conky the robot would generate a secret word. Then, for the rest of that episode, whenever somebody said that word, everybody had to yell and scream. Paul Reubens yelling is not my idea of good television.

Anyway, while reading an article this afternoon, I came across a word that I was able to figure out in context, but decided to look up anyway since I had never seen it.** And so, I shall present all of you with my own secret word of the day, but I want to change the rules. Instead of yelling when the word is used, I would like you to try to use it as often as you can over Labor Day weekend. It will be an interesting experiment to see how people react. I'm predicting that they're going to say, "What?" a lot.

So, without further ado, here is my secret word with a link to its definition...

Have fun!

*You should really go to this site by the way. The music is WAY trippy, as is the house.
**As a side note, if you already knew this word, then I'd like to know. Where has it been hiding all my life?

6 comments:

monsoon said...

I'm all over this! Results will be posted later.

TDEC said...

I did actually know this word, because of a wonderful, wonderful children's book called The Last Basselope. It's a great word. I will try to use it in conversation.

Drek's Former Officemate said...

Two completely unrelated comments:

(1) Man, I hated that show as a kid. I think it was that particular mix of noise, and silliness that drove me up a wall. Yes, I was the most serious kid I've ever know (believe it or not, I'm now considerably more laid back now than I was then. You know just how scary that is.

(2) My new favorite word, that I ran across in a set of Michael Chabon's short stories this weekend , is prolix. Fantastic word, and I think it deserves far more use.

Practicing Idealist said...

Monsoon and TDEC - I'm wondering what kind of responses you will get when you use milquetoast. I think I will try using it at the dentist this afternoon. ; )

D'sFO - 1)I think sometimes it takes finding the right niche to feel comfortable enough being more laid back. But, that being said, it's not too hard for me to envision you as a serious kid. : ) I, on the other hand, made up silly words and phrases (as I'm sure Drek would be happy to tell you), and ran around a lot with my wonderful dog, Poppy. I wasn't very serious until I reached middle school and found out that kids are mean. 2) I like your word!!! And now I will use it shamelessly. For instance, shall we strive not to be prolix lecturers? Many sociologists are prolix writers, which doesn't help us when trying to get the general population interested in sociological research. Etc...

monsoon said...

I used milquetoast three times since your post. 1) my husband was on his computer so at first there was no response, just typing. I asked him what he was doing and he promptly informed me he was looking up the word's meaning! haha 2) co-workers and an emotionally disturbed youth population (i have an interesting job). The co-workers didn't say a thing, however, the kids were curious. Go kiddos! 3) tried it with a friend today and she asked what it meant! Not much of a response. How did your usage go?!

bookmobile said...

Milquetoast. Great word. And I knew what a milquetoast long before I should have known. Long story