Tix Kix!
Off the Wall, March 1
, 2013

Check out the advertisements, signs in windows and even on billboards, and it’s plain to see, we Americans are taking our language and making it our own. Please don’t call what we speak, English, because England’s usage, I believe, of proper speaking, is just that, English.

Oh, we do OK, I’d say, on a whole. At least our friends and neighbors understand us, as that is important for us to all get along in life. But we seniors, particularly, yes, I’ve finally resigned to be a part of that group, have to learn some of these new words whether we like them or not – as long as they are not profane. That is one thing that grates me – profanity in every sense!

One of the first ‘words’ the younger generation is using now is ‘dude.’ Listening intently, I have been trying to establish if this term was only applied to guys or the female gender as well. After hearing one young man refer to his lady friend as dude, I have concluded that being a dude is more commonly a fellow’s nickname as opposed to a woman’s even though the gals get stuck with that nickname, too.

I can just imagine walking into the Latrobe Art Center to view the artists at work, when one of the people there turn to me and instead of calling me my legendary name, ‘Pee Vee,’ calls out to me, “Hi dude, good to see you today.” Something in me wouldn’t jive, somehow.

Now, there’s a word that goes back to the 50’s or 60’s. I recall a rock group called ‘The Jive Five.’ Being ‘jive’ pretty much correlated to ‘being hip,’ and that is one three-letter word we think more of the older we get. We know what it means to feel broken. We just hope it isn’t hip related.

I hear one of the restaurants in the area is giving away free ‘tix’ to a sporting event. If one hasn’t figured it out, that is short for ‘tickets.’ I can only conclude that one has to buy a full course meal including a dessert and a drink to get these items. I’d call that a ‘tix fix.’ After all, anyone wanting these passes bad enough must be on a ‘tix kix!’

Lately, since it has been so cold outside, I have been mall walking. It is warm, spacious and great to talk to people strutting my way. In so doing, I have noted signs stating “Bogo Sale.” I know what a pogo stick is, but a ‘bogo?’ I took a break and entered one of these stores and read the explanation on the counter – ‘Buy one, get one free.’ That is referred to, nowadays, as ‘bogo.’

In as much as others are slaughtering the language and kneading it into their own form, it only stands to reason that if others can do it, I can surely add to the list of ‘unknowns.’

Recently, my good friend, Mark Ludwig, stopped in for a visit, and I happened to share with him the fact that I have a new, nourishing meal that I have added to my itinerary commonly referred to as ‘a smoothie.’ I told him I put every fruit and vegetable in it that I saw Paula Abdul put in her drink on the Dr. Oz television show. What she did was so simple, I knew I could duplicate her concoction plus add a few more nutritious items, as well.

As he watched me put in almond drink first in our brand new, powerful blender, I then deposited a banana, apple, orange, kale, celery, carrots, lettuce, and blueberries. Pushing the ‘chop’ button on the machine, Mark’s attention grew as the items were pulverized. I advanced to the ‘purify’ mode and watched the whole thing liquefy. Splendor was in the making. I could sense its arrival shortly. Fingering the ‘stop’ button, I poured the drink into two glasses, one for each of us. We drank, both enjoying it.

Over time his began to thicken. “Give some more of that drink,” he said. Letting some dribble in from the box, he then guzzled down the smoothie and polished it off. It was shortly thereafter, I decided to coin a new word, of course, with its own definition. Adding fluid to a blended drink would now be called ‘Markling it.’ Breaking the word into thirds, it only made sense to use his first name, ‘Mark,’ the first letter of his last name, ‘l,’ and of course, the famous ‘ing.’ There you have it. How simple is that.

As we conversed through the evening, I threw one of my favorite ‘Peeveeisms’ at him. I told him I coined that word a number of years ago, and now people are firing it back at me. He told me he would prefer to call them, ‘Volkisms.’ Kind man. He’s one of the few who still is trying to instill in others, as well as me, to use what is proper and not slang. It’s good to know there are still some people left of the ‘old school.’ Of course, the editorial staff of this fine newspaper comes from this same vintage. I like that.

In closing, I still want to instill in others, a saying of yesteryears I use quite often, only because it makes everyone smile and even chuckle, if it’s only for a moment. I live for the time when addressed, “How are you doin’?” I can state, “Fantabulous.” These days I don’t necessarily feel that way at all, but if I can bring a little happiness and cheer to others, go for it. If it makes others feel good, I, too, appeal to their emotions.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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