Thursday, March 29, 2012
"Who's the leader of the club ... ?"
Doreen, you see, is cute. Looks like an Oklahoma girl, actually. Someone who would see in me a soul-mate.
Or so I thought--no, believed--in 1955.
During one of those treacly talks I remember he coined a word for us--a word, a virtue, something we all should possess and display: stick-to-it-tivity. Don't quit stuff, you know--stick it out. I found that advice, later on, of no value whatsoever. I quit basketball in college (I sucked); I quit playing piano (ditto); I quit trying hard in upper-level math (ditto). It's very human, you know, quitting when you suck. Focusing on activities in which you have no suckery. It's also called wisdom. It's probably why we survived. If our prehistoric ancestors had employed stick-to-it-tivity with things they sucked at, we'd actually be living The Planet of the Apes right now.
Anyway, in recent weeks a couple of words popped up on my computer, courtesy of the various word-a-day sites I subscribe to. One was on 13 March--from the Oxford English Dictionary--bouncebackability. The venerable scholars at the OED traced that one back to a 1961 sports article--about the Cleveland Indians!
The other, from Wordsmith, was preantepenultimate--which means fourth from the last. If you finish in that spot, you probably suck, and ought to quit, Jimmie or no Jimmie ...