10 Uncommon Words We Need to Bring Back

Due to a sometimes cringe-worthy marriage between young teens and social media, new words are getting created all the time. Hashtags and Snapchat videos can circulate these hip terms fairly quickly. Some of my favorites include the ironic use of “bae,” the not ironic use of “yeet,” and the always proud, “retweet!” Language is quickly evolving, more so now than ever before. That’s fine; however, along the way, I think we’ve neglected to use some great old-fashioned words. Some of them are so seldom used that they sound like entirely new words when spoken. I hereby request that we, as an urban society, start paying homage to the following forgotten words.

  1. Groovy. This is a word not so much lost as it is underappreciated. When someone asks how you’re doing, instead of responding with the typical, “I’m good” or, “I’m fine,” try throwing in a, “groovy.” Most of the time when people hear it, they look at you funny but they usually laugh, too. Don’t overuse it, though, lest it lose its luster.
  2. Dandy. This is another one that I like to throw into introductory conversations. It’s fun! It’s different! It’s positive! It’s…dandy!
  3. Gruntled. Most of us are familiar with the word “disgruntled.” Yet, we always seem to leave its equally charming antonym, “gruntled,” to rot in the dictionary. It means exactly what you think it would: to be content and satisfied. I like this one because it doesn’t sound pleasant, but the meaning of it is.
  4. Piffle. Piffle is nonsense. To me, this sounds like it would be an onomatopoeia for blowing puffs off a dandelion, but it isn’t. Similar to wonderful words like “impossible” or “outrageous,” “piffle” is simply another way to say, “that’s ridiculous!”
  5. Curmudgeon. You may not know it, but you’ve met a heap of curmudgeons in your lifetime. They are bad-tempered, cranky folk who are difficult to please. Anybody who has ever worked in fast-food has encountered countless curmudgeons. Can I get an amen?
  6. Loquacious. I remember learning this in an elementary literature course and thinking, “Hey, that describes me!” “Loquacious” means talkative. Next time your friend won’t stop going on and on, consider groaning, “Ugh, you’re so loquacious!” instead of the overused, “Shut up!”
  7. Subterfuge. This one can have varying implications, depending on the context. You can subterfuge someone, meaning, to deceive or trick. It is also possible to subterfuge a rule or escape a consequence. The word sounds mysterious, and the meaning of it is too. How groovy!
  8. Grumpish. Curmudgeons are often grumpish. When somebody frowns or snaps at you, you might say, “Why so grumpish?”
  9. Gorgonize. This word is derived from mythology. Medusa, for example was a gorgon. As a result, “gorgonize” means to hypnotize someone. I admit, there probably isn’t much room in daily conversation for this one, but it’s a good word to keep in your back pocket in case you want to impress somebody.
  10. Twaddle. Last but not least, never spew twaddle! Twaddling is to write or speak in a juvenile manner. Twaddle produces poor grammar habits and repetitious speech patterns. By applying the above words to your vocabulary, you can more easily avoid the atrocity which is twaddle.

What are some of your favorite words?

Written by Karoline

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A Guy Writes a Blog About Articles: You Won’t Believe What He Says!

It seems that journalism and what constitutes professional journalism has declined. Instead of articles with content, internet users prefer short video clips or listicles*. If it cannot capture a short attention span, then it is not worthy of time. Let me say that as someone with a love for journalism and writing, this is a travesty. I currently write for a video game-themed website where news and editorials are published daily. I absolutely love writing for the website, and people enjoy reading what I write… most of the time. The problem is that there’s this odd cycle going on that kind of started with a certain website (not naming names, let’s make up a website; I’ll call it “Bearfeed”). Bearfeed thrives on short articles, if they could be called that, and has played a huge role in popularizing them. This website has become popular enough that it is now considered a legitimate news site. It tends to set trends in social media news. It starts something, others copy it, and the sequence starts anew. This can be seen by taking a quick look at Facebook feeds.

I guess this travesty really begins with the problem of attention spans. According to several studies, the average person’s concentrated focus has fallen from 12 to 8 seconds, which is a second shorter than that of a goldfish. In a fast-paced society, people have been trained to focus in short bursts rather than spend considerable time on a task. Furthermore, most seem to be okay with that! People are told that they have short attention spans, accept it, and let it influence the world around them. Because of this, internet writing and journalism in general have taken a hit.

I can’t be the only one tired of seeing those headlines that don’t actually say anything. I’m tired of seeing “X does this, but the result will shock you/stun you/you won’t believe what happens next!” That’s not clever titling. That’s not proper journalism. That’s something known as “clickbaiting.” It tells almost nothing about the article; its sole purpose is to generate clicks, and, therefore, ad revenue. Now, while the purpose of the headline is to draw people in, it should also be to inform people of what the article is about. When I was the editor of my high-school newspaper, our articles had a standard of informative, yet succinct, headlines. Buzz words, or words that drew interest, were used, of course, but with purpose. Titles like “Grace Prep Weathers the Flood” followed by a picture of our flooded parking lot told everyone what they needed to know. If they wanted to know more, they could read about it. It didn’t force them to read it to find out that there had been a flood. If I had written “Rain pours down on school, you won’t believe what happens next,” then people would have only a vague idea of what the article was about.

While readers formerly adored short articles and lists, now, they’re not worth the time it takes to peruse them. Folks see those clickbait titles and ignore them because they know that clicking on them will lead to a website that is probably plagued with ads upon ads. Then readers have to cycle through the webpage in order to find the actual article, and it has become a much longer process than most would like. It’s a vicious cycle that is reducing the human mind to a text conversation. If the article has too many words, it’s not worth the reading, and that’s a problem.

Journalism is dying. We are in an age where people share random articles on Facebook, articles that have no facts behind them and are passed off as news. The reason? People just stopped caring. Somewhere along the line, too many just stopped caring about truth and facts and what is right. Men and women jump to conclusions before looking at the truth and then cry foul when the shot was clearly inside the lines. Online readers have become professionals at jumping the metaphorical gun. This is a sensationalist society with a short attention span, and it’s time for a change.

Today’s culture generally defines itself as ADD. Some people, including many college students, have a deficit when it comes to attention because everything is seeking attention, and many refuse to focus on one thing. It’s become common to treat a lack of focus like a skill and call it multitasking. Instead, readers should concentrate on regaining focus.

In art, there is a point in any given picture called the focal point. This is the center of attention for the piece. It is most easily seen when trying to take a picture on a digital camera that zooms in and out. There will be one ultra-clear spot in the photo, and the rest will have a slight fuzziness because there is supposed to be one main feature in the picture, not multiple. This is how people should be. Individuals need to focus on one thing and give it their undivided attention. When a student sits down to write a paper, he or she should focus on that paper alone, not the paper plus Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else is open on the computer. Doing this will train the mind to have a much longer attention span. An even better way to train is to sit down for long periods of time and read a book without distraction. Finding a quiet spot to relax and read will help create focus on something for a long period of time.

I know I’m an essay in a crowd of paragraph-length articles, but I really hope that society can change this trend. The written word is one of the most beautiful things used by the human race. People write poetry, stories, songs; individuals communicate with one another and keep each other informed. The public can no longer continue to debase what was once so beautiful. Everyone needs to push back against society’s expectations and lengthen attention spans, thus developing attitudes of care. Otherwise, the goldfish win.

*An article that is literally just a list.

Written by Alfred

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Dealing with Stress

We’re all familiar with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Whether it’s half a dozen homework assignments all due on the same day, a lot going on at work, or friend drama, everyone experiences stress from time to time. Although it is sometimes inevitable, there are a few things I’ve discovered over the years that make it easier to cope with stress.

The first and somewhat self-explanatory way to help is to keep from spreading yourself too thin. If you know you have a big paper due in a couple of days, don’t make a lot of plans with friends and only leave yourself a couple of hours to do the assignment. Using a planner or calendar to schedule plans and projects that you have to do is the best way to avoid over-booking your time.

Another key when trying to cope with stress is making sure to give yourself time to relax. Yes, it is important to be productive when you have a lot going on, but it is also critical that you set aside a few minutes to take a walk, watch your favorite show, or have a short nap. Taking a step back from the work can help calm you down and will give you a fresh perspective when you return to it. I would even suggest turning off all electronics so that you can completely clear your mind. No matter what you have going on, allow yourself a few minutes to decompress.

Finally, remember to lean on the Lord. God can give you peace even when you feel completely overwhelmed. When you feel the stress coming on, take a moment to say a prayer and ask the Lord to calm your heart. No matter what the situation is, He is in control and will use it for good. I often find myself so focused on the issue at hand that I forget I have a wonderful savior who can give me serenity. I’ve learned to stop and pray the moment I begin to feel stressed out and it always helps almost immediately. As He says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you…let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Written by Taylor

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Hey Labor Day

Hey Labor Day!

I just wanted to say thanks for a day off of school. Unfortunately, school starts before you arrive. That’s changed since your formation. Sorry about that. You no longer symbolize the end of summer and the start of school. But, we must not forget your original purpose. A long time ago, there was a conflict between the American working class and their employers. In the late 1800s, a boycott against the Pullman railway cars caused the federal government to dispatch soldiers to break up the strike (“Labor Day”). Riots broke out and many workers lost their lives. Finally, Congress realized the importance of having a day devoted to the working class (“Labor Day”). Thus, Labor Day was born. You are celebrated the first Monday in September, a federal holiday. You are the much needed break between summer and Thanksgiving. So what can we do during this wonderful time you have brought us?

Well, what most people have done in the past is to hold a parade! In fact, “on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history” (“Labor Day”). Businesses, schools, and organizations build floats and line up one by one to proceed slowly through the center of town. Some floats have moving parts, are covered in twinkle lights, or simply feature music and a few signs. It is not uncommon for food trucks or restaurants to cater food to these events. The folks of the town and those coming to see the festivities often bring foldable chairs and position themselves side-by-side along the edges of the road. After the parade, most families simply return home and enjoy the rest of your holiday before returning to school or work the next day.

1st labor day

Sometimes, Labor Day, neighbors converge on a cul-de-sac and have a cookout! This is my favorite way to spend your holiday. All the grills are brought out, and meat is cooked and smoked. Burgers, hot dogs, sausage, or anything that can be cooked is on the grill. Those who don’t grill make the side dishes: beans, coleslaw, potato salad, fries, and fruit salad. And don’t get me started on the desserts, probably the best part in my opinion: cake, cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, cookies, and special concoctions with pudding. This is a great way for everyone in a neighborhood to come together and mingle. And the best part is that the food is basically free!

There are many more options that people can choose from to celebrate time off from school/work. Whatever they choose, though, your holiday is a wonderful siesta/fiesta from the grueling effects of education.

Each and every year we welcome you back with open arms and relaxed minds. We won’t forget all you do for us, Labor Day.

Sincerely,

Maddie

“Labor Day.” History.com. 2010. 26 Apr. 2016.

Written by Maddison

Image credits: Featured Image, First Labor Day Parade