Dictionary.com, I have had about enough. I’m not not paying you to make me feel dumb.
When I started my new job, I didn’t get very many work-related emails. To get some emails coming in, and yes I know how sad this is, I signed up to receive the Word of the Day email from Dictionary.com.
Of course, as I knew would happen, things picked up at work, and I started getting actual work-related emails. The Dictionary.com emails became superfluous (adj: more than enough; overabundant) and annoying (adj: causing vexation or irritation; troublesome).
Too lazy (adj: averse or disinclined to work; indolent) to actually go back to the website and opt-out of the list, and too meticulous (adj: finicky; fussy; showing extreme care about minute details) to simply delete the emails without reading them, I was reduced to scanning them quickly, nodding sagely to myself, and then filing them away in a folder entitled “Word of Day” in my Outlook email. You know, because I was totally going to read them again later.
One thing I’ve enjoyed about receiving these emails is that the word of the day is usually a word I already know. It isn’t I know that many words; it’s more that Word of the Day tends to aim for the low-hanging fruit. So it gives you pseudo intellectual words like “gesticulate” and “acrid”. Still, knowing them already makes me feel smart. And I love that rush of smartness. It’s like a drug to me. Especially since I started this new job, where it sometimes feels like my learning curve is in the shape of me crouching under my desk.
So the Word of the Day email has held an respected place in my working life-until this morning. On Monday I usually receive three word emails. (I am not sure why Dictionary.com doesn’t take the weekend off. I’m sure it could stand to blow off some steam, dangle its participles, and contemplate the following week’s Word selection. Also, doesn’t it know that no one cares what words mean on the weekend? Apparently not.)
In any event, the first word that greeted me this morning was “Yegg”.
That’s right. Yegg. Apparently it’s a word. Apparently it’s a freaking noun. Its definition SHOULD be “the sound you make when someone grabs the hood on your sweatshirt as you run away”. But instead it means “burglar or safecracker”. Word of the Day, are you trying to mess with me?
And the second word? Oh, you know- “Xanthous”. Xanthous! Which should be a newly approved, doctor-recommended over the counter drug, but according to Dictionary.com it means “yellowish”.
I can’t imagine using that word in casual conversation.
“Please pass me that glass of Mountain Dew,” I’d say, drolly. “Oh, which one? It’s the glass with the xanthous glow. Hurry-don’t make me gesticulate acridly.”
The third word was “Abstinant”, which I could handle, although it’s not my favorite word ever. But come on! Yegg?
I am hoping this is not the beginning of a new trend. Please keep pitching me literary softballs, Word of the Day email! You don’t understand! I NEED this.
I would like to that the latest version of Microsoft Word does NOT recognize the either ‘xanthous’ or ‘yegg’. Dicitonary.com, you best be ready. Paperclip is gunning for you.