Thursday, July 29, 2010

Word of the Day - Obamafied

There are apparently days when I am totally unencumbered by normal fears or anxieties and the channels open and the small weirdnesses of the universe are somehow magnetically attracted to my exact there a secret GPS signal encoded with my dna that brings these visitors?

Today, while pumping gas into Vanna White, I had such an encounter.  I was fueling up, my mind ticking off all the to-do list items for the remainder of the work day, when a man who had been rooting in the garbage can saw me and approached me with these words:  "I'm looking for cans or bottles. They've obamafied the gasoline."

OK, non-sequiturs, made-up word I don't understand.  I quickly computed:  Was he an admirer of Palin and, by emulation, was now enriching the language not quite on the level of Shakespeare or Palin?  Was he a TeaBagger, infected by virulent language and misspelled posters, who was looking for affirmation or an argument?  Was this postmodern flirting with a dismally abject attempt at humor?  Should I take this five minute gas-em-up interlude to school him on what I thought about current political - no need to be holier-than-thou or high and mighty.  I lack both qualifications.

On closer inspection, he wore a small chain with a cross dangling about mid-chest.  His faded t-shirt advertised perhaps an affiliation with veterans and a local junior college.  He may well be one of the many shell-shocked veterans who wander the landscape after multiple tours, seeking any form of light in days filled with specters of dark knights and the realities of memories of darker nights in darker parts of the world I will never see.

Misuse of words, imprecision with words bugs me.  I am a compulsive word-lover and word-collector, have been ever since my reading skills boosted me up for higher level English classes in which nuns taught the stories behind the words - the root meanings.  Life was never the same.  I play with words, I tease with words and they tease me, I ruthlessly edit and re-edit my writing (generally excepting blogs which are my more spontaneous, less-ordered mind-gushers).  I adore the richness of references, the deeper layers and multiple meanings, the foreign enrichment of our English language.

So, today, despite my curiosity
Despite my distaste for the current bastardization and diluted meaning of American political language
Despite my loathing of the twisted attachment of "Obama" or "Barack" to other words with the intent of using as a slur or distortion
Despite my incredulity that "Obama" is the new synonym for "socialism" or "Marxism" or other odious -isms
Despite that passing thought this might be some new kind of pick-up line trying to pass for humor
I passed on asking about the definition of "Obamafied" and simply wished him a good day.

Today's musical note - initial choice was "Jive Talkin," but I opted for another BeeGees tune that has the following group of WORDS: 
"I started a joke which started the whole world crying
But I didn't see that the joke was on me."

Words matter; meaning matters.

Art:  Google Images:  Typewriter Remixed


  1. Brilliant post, brilliant writer. And I couldn't agree more. I have an ardent word-crush and am astonished at how little love is shown them in truncated texts, grammatically horrifying emails, or online posts with hyperbolic exclamations and overuse of the CAPITAL LETTER. And people worry about penmanship...sheesh!

    The other angle here, the perversion of our President's name to slime something as socialistic is just plain stupid. I'm not even going to bother with a better word. It's stupid and intellectually lazy. Even for a garbage-rooter.

    And what the hell does "Obamafication" of garbage entail anyway??

  2. I hear Obamified for everything that upsets my far right wing contingent at work.

    "They're going to Obamify health care"

    "They're going to Obamify gasoline"

    "The taxes are Obamified".

    I find it sadly ridiculous that had the same thing been said of Obama's predecessor, we would've been touted as unAmerican.