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?

6 thoughts on “Words Get in the Way

  1. newepicauthor April 9, 2022 / 4:46 pm

    You said NASA instead of NATO, but it was an excellent story anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 9, 2022 / 9:54 pm

      Oops. I guess I don’t know my acronyms As well as I thought I did. 🫢

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lou Carreras April 9, 2022 / 7:58 pm

    Splitting logs or hairs, but not infinitives? How Gosche or is that Gouache?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carol anne April 9, 2022 / 7:58 pm

    Awesome Fandango! ❤ great use of all the prompts!

    Liked by 1 person

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