Friday, March 16, 2007

Confessions of a Big Time Nerd

I should preface my post today with a few insignificant facts that prove to you that I am a smart person. Forgive me if it comes across as boasting. This is unintended. It's merely what you should know before I begin to reveal my idiosyncrasies and uber-quirkiness. So...

#1) I graduated at a relatively high rank in my high school class of 1,392. (OK, I was 12 out of 1392.)

#2) I graduated from Baylor University summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.96

#3) I like to read. I like to write. I like arithmatic.

I credit most of my grades to being a hard worker, diligent, thorough. Basically a nerd. I also have good genes. Both the parents are smart, so my brother and I turned out A-O-K.

But I also inherited something else from my parents. Well, just my mom, really. And that is the incredible talent of mistakenly combining two well-known idioms or phrases and by doing so completely getting it wrong. Or mixing up the words and letters so that what comes out of my mouth sounds like wacky jibber jabber. It's the very reason why I feel sorry for President Bush when David Letterman does his "Great Moments in Speeches" segment of his show.

Sometimes, dare I say usually, I don't realize what I've done until I notice the look on Seth's face. He looks off into the distance with a slight squint in his eyes and confounded look on his face, while his mouth is always slightly curved upward into a half smile, his lips silently repeating my slew of words or mixed up phrase. While I continue with what I deem worthy conversation, he suddenly blurts out what I meant to say, immediately followed by a burst of laughter, me realizing that yeah, that is what I meant to say, the conversation totally lost, me joining the laughing spell, all the while thinking, wow I really need to remember that one.

Seth says they're like riddles that he gets to figure out, some easier than others. So, I thought I'd let you try to figure some of them out. Here we go...

What did I mean to say when I said:

#1) "I don't know where the pen went. Did you check in all the crook and nannies?"

#2) "I can't believe how crowded that airport was. It was a real hubbub."

#3) "He was kidding the whole time, completely pulling my arm."

#4) "He was totally kidding, completely yanking my leg."

#5) "He was kidding the whole time, completely twisting my leg." (#3-5 are the death of me. I can never get them right. And anyways, only one really means to kid around but for some reason I just think you can mix and match.)

#6) "The town was a real honkey donk tank" (You'll never get this one. I can't believe I'm sharing this. I was even confounded as the phrase came out of my mouth.)

#7) (This one occurred today at the breakfast table, and I apologize if you are from Arkansas.) "We played in Arkansas during our tour, and man, driving through that place, it was just totally backsticks."

So there you go. Me in worst form. Good luck.

14 comments:

Seth Ward said...

ACTUALLY, you said

"this airport is so crowded. I think it is a major Hubub."

Chaotic Hammer said...

Since you're nerdy, I guess you already know that most of these mistakes in speaking are eggcorns, malapropisms, and spoonerisms.

Regarding what you intended to say:

#1 - nooks and crannies

#2 - (?) Not sure, wouldn't hubbub be acceptable here?

#3 thru #5 - pulling my leg

#6 - podunk

#7 - backwoods

Chaotic Hammer said...

By the way, my wife also does this. We were just discussing this a few days ago, and I had to assure her that these quirks in speech are not a reflection of poor intelligence in any way (hence, I agree that you were fully justified in stating your nerd credentials up front to make your point).

She also graduated from college with honors, and is extremely sharp and intuitive. She's a poor speller, and uses goofy/twisted words or phrases sometimes when speaking. I think it's kind of cute and funny when she does it, but I have to be careful not to hurt her feelings when I let her know that.

The truth is that I admire her a lot and rely on her a lot. Whereas my type of smart is found in retention of useless facts, technical geekery, and grammatical nitpicking, her type of smart is largely found in organizational skills, sharp intuition, and accurate perception and recall of situations and events. Thus, we are each strong in areas where the other is weak, and complement each other very well.

FancyPants said...

Oh, Seth just busts out laughing. But it's OK, because he knows that I think it's hilarious. I think I've been hardened by years of making a fool of myself. My mom and I have been laughing about it way before Seth came along.

About #2) You're right. Hubbub might be acceptable. Actually, Seth commented about what I actually said in the first comment up there. Maybe that helps.

1,3, and 7 are correct sir! It seems you have experience with such riddles, thanks to your lovely wife. Nice to know I am not alone. (And for the record, my nerdiness did not extend to ever learning those very strange words you used to label my riddles.)

BJE1206 said...

Most of these I knew what Fancypants was saying. However, on #6 my first thought was "honky tonk town", not "podunk" as chaotic hammer suggests.

My guess is that this comment came up while driving thru Oklahoma. No offense to those Sooners out there, as I happen to be from OK and have seen many honky tonk towns especially in Eastern Oklahoma.

Another reason I can understand FancyPants is my wife (whose Blog account I am using) does the same type of thing. We've been very happily married for more than 30 years. After reading the nice things chaotic hammer wrote about his wife I would say that there must be a connection to being happily married and having a wife that exhibits uber-quirkiness or eggcorns. (I also don't know what that word means so I guess I will have to look it up).

Anyway, FancyPants should look forward to a long and happy marriage, even if her husband doesn't always understand what she is saying.

Lindsey said...

I am finally getting a chance to check out your fancypants! I am so glad you are blogging. I have to write a new one soon. Only ordinary stuff has happened so far, but I feel a new blog a comin'. How do you add people's blog links to your own page?
Also, I have to say, when I read your riddles, I couldn't think of any of the real sayings. I thought a lot of them were correct! Hahaha!

FancyPants said...

BJE: #6 is correct! Honky tonk town is what should have come out instead of honky donk tank. How the world that happened, I don't know. To be honest, I'm not sure what I was describing, although a town in Oklahoma might be a good guess.

I'm looking forward to this long and happy marriage. It's already happy, so I guess we just need to keep it that way. I'm glad to know that Seth understanding me is not required for that happiness. We'd be in big trouble. =-)

FancyPants said...

Hey Linds! OK, so now I can mess my phrases up around you and we'll be communicating just fine. =-)

I was thinking you weren't using blogger anymore. But I guess you are! That's excellent.

With the new google blogger, it's pretty simple to add the links. With the old one, I'm not so sure. Are you using the old one or the new one?

Eric said...

Hilarious, because I can see your face as your saying these things. Usually, I see it with your forehead all curled up and your head slanting just a bit to one side as you look piercingly at Seth. Your head tilts a tiny bit automatically because your "Thou" is processing what's coming out of your "I"'s mouth as it happens, and then it just kind of hangs off in the air as Seth repeats it in his mind with a smirk, this whole time your forehead wrinkled tilted head is staring at him in silence.

Ha ha! I can see it all!

p.s. - great use of my "I and Thou" knowledge dont you think?

FancyPants said...

Oh, man, you're cracking me up. Yeah, that's about how it all happens.

I like the "Thou" and "I" in a very heady, philosophical kind of way. It took me a while to process, but I got it. Nice.

SandinaJ said...

This makes me smile!! I do this kind of stuff all the time. I usually catch it as soon as it comes out of my mouth or sometimes before. Regardless, I'm always laughing at myself before anyone gets a chance to...then once they catch on, they usually laugh with me.

Man, I miss you. I miss being silly with you.

p.s. I wanted to make a shout out to Lindsey. Wud up hey hey!!

p.s. Is that Eric your brother? HI ERIC!!!

The Cachinnator said...

I insist that you report on these conversations regularly.

FancyPants said...

Cach: Naturally. =-)

San: Yep, that's the bro.

Susanne said...

There's a phrase I used to say wrong that would drive my husband crazy. But I stopped saying it due to embarrassment, and I can't remember what it was anymore! Mommy-brain.......