May 28th, 2008

owl-don't make me kill you

new rule: "disgruntled" is unavailable for use

When I am Dictator of the Universe, I'm imposing a moratorium on use of the word "disgruntled". If you want to imply "this person's criticisms are petty, vindictive, and personally-motivated", you can jolly well come out and say so openly.

(Prompted by the White House spokesmouth's remarks about Scott McClellan's book and by several HR newsletters I've read over the past few days. Blech.)

...and what do you call someone who speaks only one language? least I don't fit the punchline of that particular joke, thank goodness.

I love overhearing the mixtures of languages you get around here. Just now, one of the employees at the cafe nearest my office was ringing up a purchase for someone: "You quiero una cookie? ¿Si? Nuts or sin nuts? You want una bolsa with that? Okay, quatro con sixty-five cents, por favor."

I have GOT to learn Spanish. I feel positively half-witted being unable to carry on a conversation with my neighbors like this. Gotta get the Pimsleur "Latin American Spanish — the short course" CD from the library again. Javier, the guy at the cafe, seems to be on a mission to teach us all Spanish, one word or phrase at a time. One problem I have with this approach is that my French, which is much too rusty to actually use, keeps jumping up and getting in the way by providing the wrong vocabulary word. "¿Como esta? Ummm.... comme ci, comme ça. Arrgh, wait — no!"