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All of ’em

April 1, 2013


A is for ALL.  All of ’em!

I told you I’d be flying by the seat of my pants on this challenge, and today is a good example.  I’m starting this at 10:20 pm.  Technically I need to get this posted by midnight.  I might be flogged by the A to Z Challenge police if I’m late. Maybe not, but why risk it?

I signed up for this challenge on a whim at the last possible moment. Ok, since 149 people signed up after me, I guess there were moments to spare, but I did sign up on the last day possible.

I thought about “A” words All day long, trying to decide which one I would use for my post.  But here I am again, pushing the time limits, so I’m just gonna throw ALL the “A” words out there.

No, I don’t mean all the “A“words in the dictionary. Just ALL the words I thought of that I can say something about.  Ready? Here we go:

ALMOST: Almost All of them is what I’m really going to list. (You’re welcome).

AMARILLO:  Amarillo, Texas is where I live.  It is also the home of  Cadillac Ranch and the Big Texan steak ranch, where you can take the Free 72 oz. Steak Challenge.  George Strait made Amarillo famous on the country music scene with his hit “Amarillo By Mornin’.”

AARON: My sweet, fun-loving son-in-law.

AMELIA:  My ten-month old ADORABLE niece.

APRIL: Not the month. I’m talking about my incredible and hilarious sister-in-law, April.

AIN’T:  This is a word I loathe. I don’t allow my kids to use it. I think it makes a person sound not-so-smart. My apologies to any of you who use it. You might be a very smart person; but when you use that word, you may not be showing it. 🙂

AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!:  As much as I dislike that word, I love this phrase. It cracks me up. I can’t explain it, it just does.

ABDOMINOPLASTY: What a woman wants after having five children. As a mother of five, I can say this with 100% certainty.

A.M.: The time of day I get out of bed, and typically also the time of day I finally go to bed.

AMAZING: A word that has been diluted by extreme overuse.  It seems everything even slightly pleasurable these days is labeled AMAZING. The definition of amazing is “causing great surprise or sudden wonder” or “astonishing, awe-inspiring”. How astonishing or awe-inspiring can something as mundane as a sandwich really be?

ANYWAY: You may not have wanted this many A-words, but I’m giving them to you anyway.

APRIL: This time I’m talking about the month.  For me, April brings a few things worth mentioning. The first is obviously April Fool’s Day. This year I escaped unscathed.  I was also too busy thinking about this post to think about pulling any pranks myself. In April we celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. This year she turns twenty-five. It is also the birth month of Lisa, the best friend I’ve ever had.

And now, April brings the A to Z Challenge.  Let the fun begin!

ADIEU: What I must bid you, until tomorrow.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Love the little snippets on each word.

    Look forward to the rest of your challenge posts!

    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • Thank you, and thanks for reading and commenting! I’m looking forward to keeping up with the challenge!

  2. Kensi Kempf permalink

    Good job mom, you only have 25 more to do! Keep it up! This gives people a sense of your life. I love reading everything you write, can’t wait for tomorrow’s post. I will have to tell Aaron he is mentioned in this one 🙂

    • Thanks, Kensi! I could probably have done a whole post on Aaron. 🙂 When you guys move back to Texas I’m certain he will give me plenty of material without even trying! 😉

  3. valzho permalink

    ALMOST: Almost All of them *ARE what I’m really going to list. … You’re possibly more pedantic than me when it comes to grammar/spelling, so I can’t believe you missed that one! ;-P

    AMELIA: You forgot amazing, awesome, astute, and above-average (a dad’s got to brag). I have plenty more adjectives, but they don’t start with A.

    AMARILLO: What’s a word that starts with A that means “flat and ugly” … Amarillo. Also, I hesitate to tell people the city I was born in because inevitably one or both of us will sing that blasted George Strait song which will then get stuck in my head for hours or days. … and thank *you* for sticking it in there now. Great.

    AIN’T: What’s with the dialectical hate?! I admit that I also used to hate this word, but now I ain’t so sure. (see what I did there?) As someone with a linguistics degree, I feel the need to point out that this is linguistic bias. Ain’t is a word that is only present in particular dialects of English which happen to have a negative societal stigma, but that stigma has nothing to do with the actual intelligence of the people that speak the dialect.

    Linguistic bias is responsible for the sad state of the Irish language whose population of native speakers continues to decrease despite being an official national language and mandatory in Irish schools. There is a negative stigma attached to Irish going back to the subjugation by the English that views the English Language as better and Irish as the language of the “dumb farmers” (sound familiar?). Irish, though, is one of the coolest languages I’ve seen. It definitely has some serious intricacies that aren’t present in English (look up Irish prepositional pronouns if you’re interested).

    Interestingly, it wasn’t too long before that that English was the language of the “dumb peasants” when the Normans (French-speakers) were ruling the British Isles. This is why a butt-load of English words got replaced with French ones and why more than 50% of the words in modern English are French in origin (not exaggerating). A great example: when you are inside at the dinner table (where the nobility would be) you eat beef, pork, and poultry, but when you are out in the field with the “dumb English-speaking farmers” you see cows, pigs, and chickens. (Think about that the next time you eat: other languages don’t have separate words for the animal depending on if it’s in the field or on your plate.)

    Back to modern English, consider the opposite end of the spectrum: British dialects tend to have very high prestige for Americans. A person can be the biggest idiot in the world saying some of the dumbest things you’ve ever heard, but if they’re speaking with a British accent an American will tend to say, “Well, let’s hear them out.” Heck, imagine a British speaker using the word ain’t—and there are dialects that use it. It doesn’t come with the stigma, does it. The stigma is attached to the dialect, not the word. This is when I’ll add that the linguistic forces resulting in “ain’t”, and indeed the word itself, predates the United States.

    So, to wrap up, I realize that it’s part of our cultural indoctrination to think that some dialects are superior to others and subsequently to draw inferences about the qualities of the people that speak them, but it simply ain’t true. Dialectical differences are part of normal language change, and why the King James version of the Bible is so much harder for us to understand. It takes effort to shift your paradigm, but think twice before you judge someone’s intellect for using the word “ain’t” instead of isn’t, aren’t, am not, etc. unless you similarly want to be judged for using “might could” instead of “might be able to”, “fixin to” instead of “getting ready to”, or “you don’t” instead of “thou doest not”.

    Having said all that, if you don’t know (in written English) the difference between there/their/they’re, to/too, or your/you’re by the time you’re twelve—you either need some remedial classes or a cure for apathy. As my buddy from Ireland once said, “It’s *your own* language! You probably don’t even know another one! Learn it!!!”

    (Bonus Story: I met my Irish friend in my Japanese class at UT—he was a native English speaker (as are most Irish) who was also fluent in Chinese. After hearing his accent, I went up to him after class and said in Irish: “Conas atá tú?” (How are you?). He stared blankly at me for a moment and then replied, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. Tá mé go maith or something.” (he did get it right, though—”I am fine.”) )

    AMAZING: see “Amelia”…

    ADIEU: farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight… to you and you and you.

    • valzho permalink

      By the way… what does it mean when the comment is longer than the post? It means I’m a huge nerd, that’s what it means. 😛

    • valzho permalink

      Bonus Bonus: Here is a cute and funny 10-minute short film highlighting the (sad) state of the Irish language in Ireland. (Take note that all the city signs have both English and Irish on them, and then think about the people the protagonist encounters in the film.)

      • Ten minutes? Ain’t nobody got time for dat! 😉 Just kidding, I’ll watch it. 🙂

    • Oh, my. Ha ha, I can always count on you to get a good conversation going. Conversation meaning I sit quietly and nod while you respond at length. Ha ha…Just kidding…a little….
      Ok, so, thanks for pointing out my mistake; it keeps me on my toes. I’m sure there will be many this month as I will be scrambling to keep up with this challenge. Especially this week. In addition to home schooling during the day, in the evenings I’m helping Whitney move so I’ll probably be doing a lot of late night catch-up on stuff so I can get the posts done before midnight each day. 🙂
      As for ain’t, I had no idea it had Irish origins. I’m a grammar nerd but I didn’t major in linguistics like you did (or was it your minor? Either way, you are a genius in that area!) I thought ain’t was a Texas drawl thing. My mistake. I probably still won’t let my kids say it. 🙂 Even if I was wrong in my view of the word, I think it is a common view.
      Yes, Amelia is all of those things and more. I wanted to post pictures but couldn’t check with you first that late at night. She is precious, precious, precious, and I need to see her. Daily. Somebody needs to move.
      Adieu: Yes, I sang along!

      • valzho permalink

        Ain’t does not have Irish origins.

        (According to Wikipedia) “Am not” started being contracted to “amn’t” in the early 1600s about the same time you started seeing “are not” becoming “aren’t.” Both converged to “an’t” in the late 1600s. “An’t” being used to represent “is not” appeared at the beginning of the 1700s. “Ain’t” showed up in the mid 1700s, and coexisted with “an’t” for about 100 years (they were probably pronounced the same) before “ain’t” won out.

        My guess is that the transition from “an’t” to “ain’t” probably has a lot to do with the Great Vowel Shift that occurred in English from approximately 1350-1700.

        And now you know.

        • I thought you said it did? Or implied it when you jumped to the Irish conversation. So did I read it wrong, or are you correcting yourself?
          “Amn’t” is crazy. It doesn’t even sound like a real word. LOL

      • valzho permalink

        Never said it did—just showing different examples of languages biases that exist(ed) out there. There is a negative bias in the United States against the Southern dialect. There’s a negative bias in Ireland against (ironically) Irish. In the Norman-conquered England (beginning in 1066) there used to be a negative bias against (again, ironically) English. To contrast, there is a positive bias in the US towards British dialects.

        > “Amn’t” is crazy. It doesn’t even sound like a real word. LOL

        For some real fun, check out these examples of Old and Middle English. Usually when people talk about “Old English” they are thinking of some King James type of language—that’s actually Early Modern English. We speak Late Modern English.


        OLD ENGLISH:
        Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum;
        Si þin nama gehalgod
        to becume þin rice
        gewurþe ðin willa
        on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
        urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg
        and forgyf us ure gyltas
        swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum
        and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge
        ac alys us of yfele soþlice

        Oure fadir that art in heuenes,
        halewid be thi name;
        thi kyngdoom come to;
        be thi wille don, in erthe as in heuene.
        Yyue to vs this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce,
        and foryyue to vs oure dettis, as we foryyuen to oure dettouris;
        and lede vs not in to temptacioun, but delyuere vs fro yuel. Amen.

      • valzho permalink

        Old English Lord’s Prayer:

        Middle English Lord’s Prayer (spoken)

        Man… I’m really nerding out today!

  4. Wow. Two word geeks in one family. That’s impressive. English itself is a hodgepodge of earlier languages and as such, there actually are no original grammar rules for English, they just adapted Latin grammar rules and not very well, for example, not ending a sentence with a preposition makes complete sense when speaking Latin, but completely is irrelevant in English. Diggin’ the Sound of Music reference.
    Ain’t nobody got time for that has become a standard refrain here at work, in an office filled with technical writers and editors no less. That grammatically irreverent phrase has quickly become universal.
    I’m loving you, Rhonda…not in a creepy cyber stalker way, just in an I-totally-get-you, kindred spirit way.

    • valzho permalink

      > English itself is a hodgepodge of earlier languages and as such, there actually are no original grammar rules for English, they just adapted Latin grammar rules

      *cough* *cough* BULLCRAP *cough* *cough*

      First, to say that English is just a hodgepodge of earlier languages is… well… oversimplification to the point of misinformation.

      The statement overestimates the “purity” of every other human language—any language grows, changes, and, yes, absorbs features from other languages that it comes into contact with. This has happened and is happening all the time in all languages.

      It underestimates the strength of the underlying English language—more than 50% of the words in the dictionary may have a French origin, but far less than that are the words coming out of your mouth: of, or, and, but, I, me, you… Think of all the little words that we use constantly and the grammar that builds sentences out of them—those make up the bulk of the language and provide a framework in which to hang all those cool “foreign” words that we adopt like “raccoon”. To attempt a metaphor: if you seem to see more foreign paintings in the collection than English ones, remember that the entire building they are all hanging in is English, too.

      It misunderstands language in general as just a collection of words and phrases—language is so much deeper and more intricate than that.

      Second, EVERY language/dialect has exquisite and intricate grammatical rules that it strictly adheres to. From a Cherokee, to French, to Black Vernacular English, to Ancient Mayan. These rules can (and do) change over time, and sometimes they are codified and written down (as is the case with Prescribed English), but they are *always* there.

      In the case of English, you are correct that many practices were artificially forced onto it from Latin (I, personally, don’t adhere to the sentence-ending preposition rule very often). I would argue, though, that far from starting with “no original grammar rules” English started with a far more intricate grammatical structure than it has today. We can still see the vestiges of a much more complicated grammar I/me, he/him, she/her, am/are/is, and so on.

      Even then, it appears that these vestiges are slowly collapsing, too, into what English speakers would tend to call a more “simplified” grammar (technically speaking, it’s transitioning through the language spectrum from a more agglutinative/synthetic language to a more analytic one. Not necessarily “simpler” just different).

      …it appears that I am on my Linguist soapbox today.

      • Darren! Do not cough out “Bullcrap” to my new cyber friend! Soapbox, indeed. I don’t mind the soapbox, just be nice. K?

      • valzho permalink

        To Rhonda’s point, I’m not trying to be mean, just trying to point out some (pretty common) misconceptions about language—and English in particular.

    • Aww, thank you, Dingbat…can I call you Dingbat? Ha ha, just kidding…I must hop back over to your place and find your name! I’m slow with names, so be patient with me.

      Sounds like you are more knowledgeable in linguistics than I. I’m a grammar geek, but my dear brother majored or minored (can’t remember which at the moment) in linguistics. He is also nine years younger than me and his second time around in college has been much more recent than any education of mine in that area, so he’s not as rusty. I like how he keeps me on my toes. I have a daughter who chimes in, too. She alerts me of mistakes in private emails, though. Ha ha

      I am usually not a fan of the phrases that become universal sensations overnight. I’ve actually thought of doing a post on some that particularly get on my nerves. But this one just strikes my funny bone. I like it, and I’m not ashamed. Ha ha

      I’m so glad you are liking my posts, and your last comment doesn’t make me feel creeped upon at all! It made my day! And I’ll be over to read more of yours as well. It’s actually on my to-do list. It’s going to be a crazy week, so be patient if I’m slow. 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Oops, “is completely irrelevant” and that’s a bit of a run-on sentence. You know what I meant. Blogging is not professional, people, always bear that in mind.

    • I didn’t even notice, I was too busy enjoying the “comment love”. LOL. And thanks for pointing out that it isn’t professional. I’ve noticed mistakes in everything I read for as long as I can remember. Having a reputation as such, my family is ever ready to point out my mistakes. Reaping/sowing, I guess. Ha ha
      I’ve found in trying to hurry up and get a post out there, I’m prone to mistakes as well. My first few posts I spent days making sure there were no mistakes. It didn’t take long to decide it wasn’t worth it for a simple blog post. I do aspire to write a mistake-free book someday though. LOL

  6. wow! And I thought I was the overachiever. 🙂 Loved your post and all the comments…so fun!

    • Thank you, Kristi! I have to laugh about the overachiever. We have adopted a motto in our family coined by an attitude my mother instilled in us without using the actual words: “Anything worth doing is worth over-doing”.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. CUTE! I really look forward to reading more from you! Thank you for the like on mine.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting! I look forward to more from you, as well!

  8. treymc44 permalink

    *clap clap*!! I’m glad you are doing this challenge! Very interested to see what you have to say about the other letters in the alphabet! I so Ain’t a lot! Glad to know you love me enough to not get mad!!

    • Thank you for the applause. LOL! I forgive you for saying ain’t, if you’ll forgive me for saying it makes you sound not-so-smart. 😉

  9. I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants as well- good to know we are among others doing the same!

    (Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge)

    • Glad to hear this! So far it seems like everyone I’ve heard from is sitting back, feet propped up, with posts written way in advance. Ha ha
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m heading over to your blog now!

  10. Kern Windwraith permalink

    I can assure you that you and Another Clean Slate are not alone in not having a bank of carefully crafted posts waiting in the wings. Like you, I’m seat-of-the-pantsing it, even though I swore to myself that I’d do things differently this year. Apparently I lied.

    Love your a-word post, especially the word “abdominoplasty,” because (a) that was funny, and (b) how much fun is it to say abdominoplasty out loud? Kind of a lot, really.

    I’ll be back for more. 🙂

    • Ha ha! I tell myself lies like that, too!
      And double ha ha….Do I need to make you an audio for abdominoplasty? Or maybe record an animal saying it?
      Thanks for the laugh (again) and thanks for stopping by! I look forward to seeing you around, and reading more of yours, as well. 🙂

  11. Hahah! Love this post for “A”! Good job!

    “ain’t nobody got time for that”…was definitely just sent in a text from me to my mom…a few minutes ago. I also hash-tagged it in a tweet last night too…

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    I’m visiting from:

    Take care 🙂


    • It’s a great saying! I laugh every time I hear it!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m heading over to check out your blog, now! 🙂

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