Thursday, March 10, 2011

Words Matter Week: Coagulating

Did you know that this is Words Matter Week?  In celebration of this, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors has issued a blog challenge.  The fourth question:

Words can be mangled, misused, or misunderstood.  What is your funniest example of mangling, misuse, or misunderstanding?

The Princess Bride is a favorite movie in this house, and we end up quoting it often.  One favorite scene is when one of the characters exclaims, "Inconceivable!" at every report about the progress of a pursuer.  The classic line back to him after yet another "Inconceivable!":

"You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

Obviously, we pull that quote out every time someone in the house mangles or misuses a word around here.  I seriously considered the quote for my post yesterday.  But it seemed right for today.

Anyway, our funniest example of misuse of a word is not within our house, but someone outside the family.  In a work situation.  He would have things he needed to work out with a vendor or supplier or another office, and when asked to take care of the situation, he would say:
"I'll coagulate it with them."
I love that imagery!  Instead of coordinating things, working things out, and co-operating, he spoke of the situation becoming a "soft, semisolid, or solid mass." (from The Free Dictionary)

It's been a lot of years since I walked the halls of Corporate America, but I think this guy has inadvertently nailed it.  Perfectly. 


Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Just had to say that we love The Princess Bride!

Lindsay Oberst said...

I love the Princess Bride too, and that quote is perfect for this week. Thanks for the reminder.

I love your take on the misuse of coagulate too.

Happy Writing!