A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

09 July 2010

Eschewing the Obfuscation of the Profundity

"You've made an egregious error."

"A what?"

"An egregious error."

"What kind of error?"


"What does 'egregious' mean?"

"You know...something that's egregious."

"Yeah, but WHAT does it mean?"

"Something that's egregious is...you know. Look, if YOU don't know what it means, I'm not going to explain it."

"So, in other words, you don't know what it means?"

I have to admit - I enjoy doing this: calling people on it. Many people use words they have absolutely no clue what they mean. Oh, sure, they've heard the words plenty of times...and always in the context they use them -- and they are using them correctly, but they are merely "parroting" what they've heard. They honestly have never bothered to look the word up in the dictionary.

Personally, between you and me...I do it, too. Using "ten-dollar words" can be awfully impressive and downright convincing when, say, you're trying to get a lower rate on your telephone bill...or talking to your doctor...or trying to impress the stranger you met in passing...or speaking up to that guy in the office that just irks the hell out of you.

Using big words is like that animal making its hair stand on end to appear larger than they really are. Big words said by certain (not all) people make them appear smarter than they really are. But, just as a turkey displaying its feathers - strip away the feathers and what you've got left - well, is still a turkey.

I guess we all need to ruffle some feathers once in a while and appear larger than life. Words, are, after all...mightier than the sword...or at least they supposedly are when you write them down with a pen.

And good thing (at least for me) there's spell-check, too, as when I originally "penned" this blog, I spelled it "aggregious".

Sheesh...talk about an egregious error, right?

(Originally written, but never published, about two years ago.)


  1. Reminds me of The guy from the Princess Bride that says "inconceivable" all the time and the other guy tells him, I do not think that means what you think it means."



  2. I have to admit that I misused the word "apoplectic" for years. I knew what it meant, I think, but I mispronounced it "apoplexic," until a much smarter friend of mine finally screwed up enough courage to tell me that I sounded like an idiot. I wanted to punch him, but I was too apoplexic to do it.

  3. "Egregious" is such a great word, though. So is "festooned". And since Mike mentioned it, "apoplectic" (and its sister "apoplexy") are a couple favorites as well.

  4. And everything sounds even better if you add "-ly" to it.

    Egregiously apoplectic!


  5. Another thing...nearly every time I've tried to pronounce...and I know how to pronounce it...I get naïveté (I'm sure it's going to go wonky there when it shows up...with the accents - so I'll just say "naivete" as well) screwed up.

    You wouldn't believe how incredibly stupid you can make yourself appear when you stumble on a word like three times in a row.

  6. This is too funny...I'm watching "Chopped" on the Food Channel and the judge guy just said the one chef made "an egregious error".

    Oh...that was pretty strange. What are the odds on that?? :)

  7. The odds are actually fairly low. Are you sure you weren't hallucinating?

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