Words Get in the Way

“What is a snafu?” Steven asked.

“It’s a mnemonic that means ‘situation normal, all fucked up.’” Clyde said.

“I know what it means, but it’s an acronym, not a mnemonic,” Steven said.

Clyde took a sip of his coffee and lifted up the croissant from his plate. “Same difference,” he said, and took a bite of this pastry.

“Actually, at the risk of sounding pedantic,” Steven said, “that’s not true. They are both memory technique, yes, but a mnemonic is a way to memorize information through a pattern of letters. For example, ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ is a mnemonic to help you remember the colors of the rainbow in order — Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Conversely, an acronym is a form of abbreviation where a word is formed from the fist letters of a series of words. Generally this new word contains a vowel to facilitate the pronunciation of the word. Like ‘NATO’ is an acronym for North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

“I don’t know, Steven,” Clyde said. “I don’t see any contradiction. As you said, they’re both memory techniques. They’re the same, but they are slightly different. So I stand by my previous statement: same difference.”

“But something can’t be the same and different at the same time, Clyde,” Steven said. “It’s either the same or it’s different. Just like saying something is ‘almost exactly’ the same as something else. It’s either exactly the same or it’s almost the same. It can’t be both.”

“Jeez, dude,” Clyde said. “You’re just trying to obfuscate with all your highfalutin language bullshit. I don’t need this. Our friendship is kaput.” Clyde stood up and started to leave the coffee shop.

“Wait, Clyde,” Steven said. “I was merely trying to keep you from spreading misinformation. You don’t want to be known as a prevaricator, do you?”

“I don’t know what a prevaricator is, and I’m tired of you always splitting logs with me over trivial things,” Clyde said.

“You mean ‘splitting hairs,’ don’t you?” Steven said.

“For someone who doesn’t want to sound pacific, you sure do act that way,” Clyde said.

“Pedantic, not pacific.”

Clyde just shook his head and said, “DCMICY. That’s a mnemonic for ‘Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You,’ asshole,” and left the building.

Written for the following daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (SNAFU), Your Daily Word Prompt (mnemonic/kaput), My Vivid Blog (coffee), Ragtag Daily Prompt (plate), The Daily Spur (contradiction), E.M’s Random Word Prompt (obfuscate/prevaricate), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (trivial). Illustration by Liam Larkin/EyeEm/Getty Images.

What about you? Are you more like Steven or more like like Clyde?

Weekend Writing Prompt — The Competition

Red Ants Pants Music Festival

Nobody could hold a candle to Becca when it came to yodeling. There was no possibility of her losing. At the brink of going to the nationals, all she had to do was overcome her stage fright.

She stood up on the stage and started to yodel. When she wrapped up, she was immediately declared the winner.

(Exactly 57 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “yodel” in exactly 57 words. Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (nobody/wrap), The Daily Spur (possibility), Word of the Day Challenge (brink), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (stage fright).

H is for Horse Feathers

For this year’s A-To-Z Challenge, my theme is MOVIES. I will be working my way through the alphabet during the month of April with movie titles and short blurbs about each movie. Today’s movie is “Horse Feathers.”

I’m going out there today with a movie that was made before almost all of us were born, including me. But in case you weren’t already aware of it, I have always been a fan of the Marx Brothers. Their zany antics always crack me up. And that is why I’m featuring one of the Marx Brothers’ classic, slapstick comedies, “Horse Feathers.”

The term “horse feathers” is an American euphemism for “nonsense,” originating in the late 1920s, which makes it the perfect titles for this 1932 comedy film starring the Marx Brothers — Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo.

The film revolves around college football and a game between the fictional Darwin and Huxley Colleges. Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho), the new president of Huxley College, is convinced by his son Frank (Zeppo), a student at the school, to recruit professional football players to help Huxley’s losing football team. Baravelli (Chico) is an “iceman” who delivers ice and bootleg liquor from a local speakeasy. Pinky (Harpo) is also an “iceman” and a part-time dogcatcher. Through a series of misunderstandings, Baravelli and Pinky are accidentally recruited to play for Huxley instead of the actual professional players.

Imagine Groucho as the president of a college and Harpo and Chico as football players. It doesn’t get much wackier than this. Groucho is hilarious to watch as a hip professor. He’s at his most rebellious singing “Whatever it is, I’m against it.” Thelma Todd does some of her best vamping to help fix the big football game, which Harpo and Chico are supposed to throw. Naturally, the brothers have other ideas. For sheer laughter, this has to rate as one of the Marx Brothers’ funniest, with the memorable speakeasy sequence, and the craziest football finale of all time, complete with banana peels and a chariot.

If you’ve never seen a Marx Brothers movie, do yourself a huge favor and go to YouTube and watch one. Like “Duck Soup,” “Night at the Opera,” “Day at the Races,” or, of course, “Horse Feathers.”

Previous A2Z 2022 posts: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

SoCS — How Do You Do?

How do you do?” The man said to me as he tipped is hat.

“Do I know you?” I asked. “How do I know you?”

How do you know me?” he responded. “Let me tell you how you know me. You know me from those bus stop bench ads. I’m a lawyer and my picture is on nearly every bus stop bench in the city. You need a lawyer, don’t you!”

I was shocked. “How did you know I need a lawyer?” I asked.

How did I know!” he said. “I know because at some point in time, everyone needs a lawyer, and I happen to be a lawyer with a lot of know-how.”

“So you’re saying that you know how to be a lawyer?” I asked. “Doesn’t every lawyer know how to be a lawyer?”

“I would say that many lawyers know how to be a lawyer, although some may not know how,” he said. “But that’s not what I meant. What I meant is that I’m a lawyer who has the know-how to ferret out those who are in immediate need of a lawyer, just like you do now.”

“That’s amazing,” I said. “How do you do that?”

“The same way I know how to be good lawyer for you,” he said.

“Well how about that?” I said. “But how much do you charge?”

How much can you afford?” he asked.

“If you’re really a good lawyer, I can afford however much you charge.”

“Great,” he said. “How about we get started right now.”

“And how!” I said.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Linda has given us the word “how,” and instructed us to it in our posts.

FOWC with Fandango — Nobody


It’s April 9, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “nobody.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.