Like a gold miner sifting through tons of sand and gravel looking for anything that might be gold, I read through my day hoping for words and or language usage that stands out from pre programmed mish mash that is online writing.
I writing this about online writing as I am writing online.
And I admit that as part of my job, I have to submit some of my writing for work to online tools that will grade my writing as to its ‘clickability’.
Once for fun (okay so my definition of fun is not yours) I copied all 272 words of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address into Microsoft Word and had it graded for its ability to be understood.
According to Word, it would take someone with at least an 11th or 12th grade education to read the speech and as the norm for today was writing at a 4th grade level, Word recommended some changes.
I haven’t tried but I bet you a nickel that if I copy Winston Churchill’s speech before Commons (June 4, 1940), “We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender,” MicroSoft Word would suggest that the text was repetitive.
I am sure if I asked for a headline for the speech I would get, Five Top Reasons to Keep Fighting, or “Revealed, What Churchill Said that got Hitler so Mad …” or the usual, “Miley Cyrus arrested after reading this on twitter.”
But today I was reading an article and the writer used the word Flibbertigibbet.
It was like finding a giant golden nugget.
Say it out loud.
Dear sweet wonderful word.
Makes you laugh just to say it.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is an onomatopoeic representation of unmeaning chatter and the meaning is a chattering or gossiping person.
The online Merriam-Webster uses the term gossipy chatterer.
That flibbertigibbet is onomatopoeic or the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named is just perfect.
It is also fun just to say onomatopoeic.
And the best part of today’s word prospecting?
The article in question was about the University of Michigan Football Coach, Jim Harbaugh.
The article was discussing whether or not the Chicago Bears missed a chance but not hiring Little Jimmie “I lost the Brown Jug” Harbaugh.
The writer wrote, “The last thing ownership wants is more transition when it comes to football operations. And with Harbaugh, an historic flibbertigibbet, every off-season would bring questions of his potential departure.”
As stated, flibbertigibbet is onomatopoeic.
The word sounds like it means.
But what is the word for when THE PERSON matches the word, as it sounds like it means?
There has to be something beyond “apt”.
Harbaugh is a flibbertigibbet is both onomatopoeic in both grammar and application is word smithing at its finest.
A trifecta if you would.
The man and the word have met.
I guess if the words fits, use it.