I’ve been feeling like I might have too many words crammed inside my head. When talking, the normal brain is supposed to filter out all the choices of synonyms until settling on just one word to say aloud.
I imagine all these words tumbling around and around, aggressively vying to be the chosen one to go down through a funnel, and on out my mouth. But lately, it hasn’t been working that way. My friends laugh at me, and tell me it’s part of getting old, as more and more frequently I come to a complete halt in the middle of a sentence.
But it’s not for lack of the right work that my speech stalls. My brain is not blank at those times, it’s just caught up in trying to select the perfect word to convey my meaning.
In high school, they called me “Ms. Roget,” because I packed around a thesaurus and enjoyed reading it in my free time. Now, when I write, I call upon this background to edit and polish and perfect the exact nuance I want to express.
But when speaking, I sometimes trip over my words and thoughts. It’s like they get bottled up at the neck of that metaphorical funnel and try to come out all together. I suspect the word “brunch” was coined the very same way.
Admittedly, it sometimes sounds like I’ve completely lost it, like when I said I was going to sit out on the “pork,” combining porch and deck, or when I needed to buy more “cattles,” joining cat food and kibbles. But for the most part, it isn’t hard to figure out what I meant, like when I said “soapwagon” instead of either soapbox or bandwagon.
I’d worry about this a lot more if “sheeple” and “automagic thinking” had not recently been accepted by the definitive dictionary powers that be as actual words. Perhaps someday some of my own “synomology” will be viewed as just a sign that I’ve always been a “pathblazer.”