Recommended wine for today’s entry: Conundrum, a California white table wine blended from five different grapes. It’s a great choice with Thanksgiving turkey! As Wine Spectator described it: “This delicious blend of five white wine grapes is one of the best of its type from California. It’s a complex wine, with an array of ripe, concentrated flavors—pear, honey, fig, vanilla, peach and nectarine, finishing with lots of character and a dash of spice. Delicious.” And from Wine Enthusiast: “Rich and lush, full-bodied yet silky on the palate. This unusual blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon,Viognier and Muscat grapes lives up to its name.” And best of all, I LOVE the word conundrum! Your assignment: try some Conundrum and use the word in a sentence today! (But not too much wine first — it’s a tough one to pronounce while slurring.)
In Core class in seventh and eighth grade, we used a book called Word Clues, which basically taught Greek and Latin roots and their meanings. It was a very valuable, albeit dull as all hell, learning tool that obviously stuck with me, yea these many years hence. I often find myself using those learnings.
It’s really helpful when I’m doing a crossword puzzle, because I often know part of the word, thanks to knowing the roots. For example, I recently threw away a half-finished puzzle. The clue for 21 across was something like “marine dweller with prominent head.” Well, because in like 1972 I learned that “cephal” meant head, I tried cephalfish, but the “fish” part was clearly wrong, so I erased it and tried cephalclam… wrong. Well, by the time I threw it away, I had filled in everything emanating from the c-e-p-h-a-l part of it and had erased giant holes in the last four letters. Actually, just before I tore through it, it said cephalshit, which I’m not proud of, but sometimes the things we do for relaxation wreak havoc on our blood pressure.
Anyway, my self-imposed rule is that once a puzzle has a hole drilled in it or a cuss word, I have to throw it away.
The whole reason I began to ruminate (ah, excellent one) about words was this gem from Dictionary.com’s word of the day (this was awhile ago, but I had bookmarked it and forgotten it…)
Omphaloskepsis. Do you know what it means?
Well, if you don’t, you are obviously a poorly educated dolt. Or you have never sought wisdom from studying your own belly button.
Seriously? There is really a word in our language that not only is about 7 letters too long for anyone to learn to spell, but it honest to God means “contemplation of one’s navel as part of a mystical exercise.”
I have a couple problems with the whole concept.
First, I think belly buttons are stupid and, quite frankly, gross. They serve no purpose once the doc severs that cord, so at least in my opinion, I think that immediately after delivering a baby, the doctor should snip, tuck and sew the whole area shut tightly.
Not only does this prevent a new mother lifting her baby-powder scented newborn with the perfect little fingers and toes from the crib and having a dried-up, bloody stump of umbilical cord drop onto her foot, but it would also benefit humanity for years to come. Imagine never having to see every fat guy’s giant outie protruding from his too-tight T-shirt at the State Fair. Or never having the whole discussion about belly button lint ruin another dinner party. And as an added bonus, there’s one less place for your teen daughter to pierce. Done.
Second, WHAT KIND OF PERSON FREAKING STARES AT THEIR OWN BELLY BUTTON and what mystical exercise are they talking about? Like are there witches who contemplate their navels while chanting some spell? Or is it an important activity at a nudie colony, so they aren’t ALWAYS focused on personal parts? Alright everyone, it’s Sunday, so we’re not gonna be sicko sex addicts today — today we only look at navels. With enough contemplation, perhaps we shall find the answers to why we walk around with our ding-dongs dangling the other six days of the week.
I don’t mean to be curmudgeonly, but if I had my way, there’d be no more belly buttons. Or weirdos who contemplate them. Or nudist colonies.