The Benefits of Having a Disgustingly Large Vocabulary

This story is for Baby Cougar Clause, who is officially in her late twenties today. Such an old lady! With love from Auntie Indy.

One day Baby Cougar’s high school English teacher just lost it. He was tired of staring at a roomful of slack and resentful faces. He looked at them all and said “I should just defenestrate you all. I’ll give an A to anyone who knows what that means.” And Baby Cougar, who was not the best student in English despite her inherent brilliance, strength, and beauty, and who, in fact, had just come perilously near failing an English quiz, raised her hand. She was the only one in the class who knew what the word meant.

This is why everyone should have at least one sarcastic auntie around to keep things interesting.

Who taught you what you know?


11 responses to “The Benefits of Having a Disgustingly Large Vocabulary

  1. Well, it wasn’t my mother. She gets her mind set on the meaning of a word and refuses to budge. For years she kept insisting the word ‘droll’ meant sad, or melancholy. Finally I showed her the Webster’s definition–which she dismissed as being outdated. She believes all words are onomatopoeic and uses them that way regardless of those pesky definitions.

  2. I am not sure you can call them cubs when they are almost as old as Indy. But, I’d better stop. We’re getting close to family secrets here.

  3. Happy Birthday to Cubby Clause!
    My grandmother taught me and not in an affectionate adult-to-a-child way, but she expected one to be able to have a conversation at dinner without a kid saying, “Well, me and her went…” She was born on 1915 and was an English teacher. Don’t mess with grammar and god help you if you spoke while having your elbows on the table. My kids have her to blame. If only they knew that I was merely the diluted version.

  4. I love this story! One of the guys on the bus stepped on my best high school friend’s foot and walked on without a word. She yelled, “You swine!” and he looked concerned and asked the guy next to him, “What was that she called me?” They didn’t teach us much at that school.

    I learned a lot from the older Bugs Bunny cartoons, then anything I could find on PBS — The Duchess of Duke Street, Upstairs Downstairs, The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth R. I almost got my friends to watch Elizabeth R when I told them about the naked man’s dangling penis, but they hated that the show was ‘weird’ and everyone talked so much.

  5. Thanks auntie Indy. Well done for getting the right day, not a month early or a month late!
    I take great pride in explaining the meaning to people. It makes my sleep deprived, baby brain feel much brighter than it actually is!
    I would like to introduce this into my 5 year olds vocabulary although I am nervous he might use it inappropriatly eg threaten to defenestrate his teacher.
    By the way, I think I might be insulted about being called a baby. If I am cub what do I call my three cubs? A cub can’t have cubs?


    • I hear you, I really do. But it’s actually Cougar who called you Baby Cougar (something about a Black Forest Cake, you’ll have to ask her).

      If it makes you feel better, I think of the time I got it a month wrong every time I remember your birthday.


  6. Pingback: Scandal Rocks Fangs and Clause Contest | Fangs and Clause

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