Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"A Mouth for Bluejohn"

My latest essay, "A Mouth for Bluejohn," is in the fall 2006 issue of NC State, the North Carolina State University alumni magazine. (It's on Page 11.)

The essay is about the words and phrases that I never heard before Sydney uttered them ("bluejohn," "have a mouth," "the mail has run," etc.), and the words and phrases that Sydney never heard before I uttered them ("faunching," "floojens," etc.).

The examples in the essay are far from exhaustive, of course. Sydney reminds me of one I was too demure to include: When I was growing up, my family never used the word "laxative," instead calling Milk of Magnesia an "active medicine," with an un-English emphasis on the adjective -- "ACTIVE medicine." This euphemism was news to her.

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