Sick, sick, sick


I’m still reading Bill Bryson’s Troublesome Words, which is full of useful little nuggets about word usage that I didn’t know. For instance, I thought expectorate was just a highfalutin way of saying spit, but Bryson says, “To spit means to expel saliva; to expectorate is to dredge up and expel phlegm from the lungs.” I’m sorry to say that I find this useful because I’ve been expectorating like mad. I’ve also been sneezing and farting simultaneously, as well as coughing and farting simultaneously. I’m sick and disgusting. I’ve been telling people I have diphtheria,* but that’s mostly to show off that I can spell it. (It’s my second-favorite word containing phth– next to exophthalmic, which of course means “of or pertaining to bulging eyes”.)

Speaking of sick and disgusting things, I just wanted to quickly note that unlike the US vice-presidential candidates, this is not what I think of gay marriage, which I recently realized has become completely normal to me when I saw the headline “Melissa Etheridge to marry girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels” and my immediate reaction was Well, it’s about time. I used to get at least a little exophthalmic at that sort of thing. Congrats, ladies.

* Bryson: “Note that the first syllable is spelled diph-, not dipth– and is pronounced accordingly.”

3 Responses to “Sick, sick, sick”

  1. 1 Scott

    I’m sure Marlene and I have mentioned this plenty of times but I’ve just got to do it again. Sneezing and farting or coughing and farting simultaneously is one of the definitions of “Peter Lynn”. Common usage around here is simply saying “Oops…Peter Lynn” whenever Brianna does one of the two.

  2. 2 Ken

    diff-theer-ee-uh? Really?


  3. Candace is thoroughly disgusted by (a) my simultaneous emissions and (b) this strange but apparently correct pronunciation of diphtheria.

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