Monday, December 8, 2014


Fear not, Gentle Writer, Mrs. Grammar Person is out of the doldrums and no longer feels dull, listless, or in low spirits. The word "doldrums", from the Old English word dol, means foolish or dull, but you may rest assured that Mrs. G.P. would never think you were foolish for feeling dull. No, she would try to raise your spirits in the same way she raises her own--with the most delightfully entertaining words imaginable.

Mrs. G.P. is sensing a scintilla of sympathy and an iota of interest from you, her devoted admirers, so she will explain her method lickety-split. She will not shillyshally (procrastinate) or dilly-dally (delay) or lollygag (dawdle) another minute, although she doesn't wish to proceed in a way that's willy-nilly (disorganized) or pell mell (in a recklessly hurried manner). Nor does she wish to start a brouhaha (an uproar) or, worse, a hullaballoo (condition of noisy confusion). Mrs. G.P. fears that all of this jibber jabber (talk in a rapid and excited way that is difficult to understand) could give you a case of tintinnabulation (the sound of ringing), or worse, a headache. She would not want to leave you befuddled (confused) or flummoxed (bewildered) because of too much gobbledygook (meaningless or nonsensical language). On the other hand, Mrs. Grammar Person does not believe in mollycoddling anyone; she believes that would be feckless (irresponsible) of her and cause some scuttlebutt (gossip, rumors) among her fellow grammarians, some of whom (Mrs. G.P. hates to say it) tend to bloviate (speak pompously or brag).

Far be it from Mrs. Grammar Person to pull any shenanigans (foolish behavior) or engage in any form of skullduggery (deception or trickery). Au contraire! She simply wants you to enjoy the same mellifluous (sweet-sounding) words she does, laughing at how silly some of them sound.

As Mrs. Grammar Person sits by her pond pondering the pollywogs (which she refuses to call tadpoles), her mind drifts and she wonders whether a rose by any other name would really smell as sweet. She leaves that to you to decide, for it is late and Mrs. G.P. must skedaddle (hurry off) as she has a dinner engagement with her new friend, Mr. Syntax. Until the next time, Mrs. Grammar Person bids you adieu!

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