Sunday, April 10, 2005


Blogroll Me!

Since I was a little girl, I was always impressed with people who used "big words"--they sounded intellectual, interesting, and whether or not they used their big words correctly wouldn't have mattered to me because I usually didn't know the difference.

I was a voracious reader while growing up, but was too often lazy to reach for the dictionary for words I was reading whose meaning I didn't understand, and so I just guessed the meaning in context. But in university and in my job as copy editor, I learned I really needed to use a dictionary to get the correct meaning.

It seems to me, and I was discussing this the other day with an editor, that we (he and I) use "big" words when we write, rather than when we talk. Neither he nor I could account for the difference, but it's been the pattern we've seen develop.

These days, I'm always looking to find a new word to use in my writing or in my conversations. And I came across one that sort of turned my head...

Some time ago, I yelled over to my fellow copy editor (who happens to use a lovely vocabulary) over the "walls" of our "offices," "How are you?" and heard her answer with this: "Copacetic." "What did you say?" I asked back. "Copacetic" was her reply.

I thought to myself: "Where does Val [a non-Jew] know Hebrew from?" I was impressed, got up, went around the wall, and said "How did you know to answer me in Hebrew, and correctly?"

"What Hebrew? I said c-o-p-a-c-e-t-i-c."

"Ohhhh," I said, blushing two shades of red. "It sounded to me as if you'd said 'Kol b'seder,' which means 'everything is okay'. "

I looked up the definition in Webster's and saw this for copacetic: adj. (origin unknown), very satisfactory. Okay, Hebrew speakers, tell me that "copacetic" doesn't sound a lot like "{ha}kol b'seder". With its origins being unknown, perhaps it does stem from the Hebrew language...

In any case, I hope that everything in your life is c-o-p-a-c-e-t-i-c.