My friend Atime has a serious obsession with convoluted, big-ass words
And when I say ‘big’ I mean “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” kind of big.
She tells me she thinks there’s a certain solidity and substance about big words that makes her feel like she’s trying to convey something of great importance. I personally think it is a remnant of colonial hangover from the British Raj
My colonial remnant consists of having to spend a quarter of my existence explaining my very English name, to people from all walks of life, despite being a brown girl.
The use of “plus-size” words for my friend has unfortunately not borne much fruit for her with her work. As a writer, she often had to “KISS” (Keep It Short Stupid) and make up with her editors after much wrangling, and jab-jab-right hooks. But she is too fond of her humongous, gargantuan words to give up. After all who in their right minds would want to say “stroll” when you can just as easily use a more beautiful and classier word like “ambulate” ? It just rolls off your tongue. Why not “forbearance” instead of “patience”? Or better still why not “somnambulism” instead of “sleep-walking”?
And so my friend and I wallow in self loathing pity-parties as we try to recreate our fantasies of being writers.
Me with my penchant for choking on my endings and she with her obsession with all words enormous. We’ve found a common spark to keep the flames of our friendship alive even though our perceptions of life could not be more different from each other.
She thinks I need to stop talking about myself so much in my writing. She perceives this as a sign of weakness but just stops short of calling me an attention-whore. I think I write about my experiences as a cathartic process. Getting it all out of my system through the stories, the poetry and the self-deprecation.
But we agree to disagree (click on the link if you’re interested to find out more about the origins of this phrase) – a term so commonly throw around by mediators and HR professionals.
And so as she continues on her merry, delusional way – pursuing her pipe dreams of writing the ultimate novel without having to give up on her fixation, I move on to yet another untold story with a very jittery ending.