Tuesday, July 20, 2010

But I'm Not Shakespeare

The Language of Home

First, let me clear up my main post title. Some time yesterday, Sarah Palin posted a Twitter message using the word: "refudiate."  Of course, that word does not exist. Now, Ms. Palin is pretty controversial already--she ran for Vice-President of the US in the last election and has been on the national stage since--and has often been questioned on both her knowledge and literacy.  So, critics pounced on this error immediately.  Unfortunately, like Pat Parelli, instead of easing off the issue and dropping her ego enough to admit to a mistake, she reposted using the word, "refute" which didn't work in the meaning either, and finally claimed that since English was a "living" language, it would survive a coined word now and then--after all Shakespeare invented words all the time.

Sorry, Ms. Palin, as clever as you may be, "You are no William Shakespeare."

Nor are most of us, but that certainly doesn't stop us from inventing words.  I often think of Shakespeare's Hamlet when I call one of my horses a pet name-- "you jibe, you amble, and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures" (Act III, scene 1).  This is where Hamlet mocks Ophelia and women in general for being insincere and makes fun of such "womanly behavior as cuddling kittens and such.

All right, all right, this may be something only an English teacher would think of, but Toby's show name "To Be Or Not To Be" was not chosen at random here. *G*  At any rate, Ms. Palin's "misspeak or misstweet" as the case may be, reminded me of all the silly things I do say when I'm with my four legged friends.

There are, of course, the nicknames.  Chanceypants, the Pantsman, Pantaloons, Tuckerruker, Tuckster, Ruckster, Tobywobe, Wobey, Wobester, and My Pumpkins.  When I call them in from the pasture?  Tobyruckerchance! Tuckawoberpants!  Wobichanceruck! Works for me.  I will not mention the nicknames when someone steps on my toe, however. After all my blog is "G" rated.  *lol*

Then, we have such things as "horse snarf."  I'm sure you've all had some of that slobbered or sneezed onto your white show shirt.  And do your horses occasionally come "galumphing" over the hill? I borrowed that one from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky," but somehow it suits when they Boys are not exactly being graceful.

There is, of course, the famous gait known as the "tranter" which wiser horsemen call a four-beat canter, but is much easier to say.

But I do have two favorites.

The first is "boofy."  This describes horse behavior on those days when everything is spooky and my horse is just silly.  It combines "goofy" with "boo" the sound a ghost makes to scare you. Since I'm never quite convinced said horse is really scared of everything, he is being a "boofus," and is "boofy."

But my all time favorite is "snoopervision."  This word was coined with Russell R. who was always around to "help" in any of the barn chores/repairs anyone was doing.  He would assist by carting off tools and generally sticking his nose into every activity.  My current little herd, especially Chance, tends to be as interested. The nice thing about this word is that it is adaptable. My horse can be a "snoopervisor" by "snoopervising" any activity.

How about you? Do your horses/cats/dogs or other four footed "associates" bring out the Shakespeare in you?


  1. I make up words all the time. Then I forget I made them up and use them in conversation, much to the confusion of whoever I'm talking to. *L*

    Everything Spider does is spiderific. Unless he does something goofy, then he's thoroughbrained. Or spaztastic.

    I'm going to have to borrow snoopervise. My guys always feel the need to snoopervise me, especially at chow time.

  2. I'm a bit meticulous about using proper grammar. And, living in the south, I hear a lot of improper grammar and mispronunciation. I try not to get too irritated by it though, live and let live.

    But it's different when you are in the public eye like Sarah.

    Personally, I was never a fan of her. I don't agree with many of her views, and things like this just add to my dislike, LOL!

  3. no i don't. as for sarah palin - maybe she thinks, if it worked for dubya, it'll work for her...not!

  4. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Tanter: a canter involving a tantrum.

  5. Hi Jean, just catching up with your blog. I always read your posts :)

    I like 'snoopervisor', I have one of those!

    I use plenty of silly nicknames but have yet to make up my own. Must try harder!

  6. I'm not sure how much of a Shakespeare I am BUT I have this awesome habit of talking out loud to my animals and saying all sort of nonsense with every variations of their names possible! (after all my four legged friends make the best listeners!)

    As far as Sarah Palin goes... well, she is just a bit absurd. No figuring that lady out!

  7. I have a whole list of words that I use when talking to my herd. Your snoopervisor is wonderful. I can apply that to most of them. A favorite of mine is one my daughter came up with watching a lesson at one of the barns we were at years ago:
    trollop - not quite a trot, not quite a gallop, I'm sure it was a four beat canter variation.

    As for Sarah Palin, my biggest fear is that someone will take her seriously and actually vote for her. (shiver)

  8. English may be a living language but twitter is not an appropriate change agent. Period. (Yeah, I'm not a twitter user. Can you tell?)

    I don't usually make up my own words, but I do call Izzy a pony, both to her face and to others. I get a lot of funny looks from people who think that I also have a horse, apparently.

  9. My kiddos made up a word to describe one of our dogs, who immediately vacuums up anything that falls on the floor. The food items that land on the floor are "floor d'oeuvres" (instead of hors d'oeuvres). Which, naturally, makes the dog a "floor d'oeuvr-ivore". We like to say he has a fine palate for French delicacies. :)

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