Would Laugh!
Off The Wall, June 25, 2010

Back in May, I conducted a survey of sorts, something I have always enjoyed doing, just for the fun of it. This one had to do with a word “I made up”, and I wanted to see what people’s responses would be. I didn’t expect many returns; neither did I get that many. But what I received was an education, and I hope you, the reader, will understand that words unfamiliar to you don’t always have to be dirty just because it doesn’t sound good. It is what it is, and it means what the inventor meant it to mean.

Here was my question: “If someone looked you smack dab in your face and called you a ‘dipsuckle’ what would be your response?”

Sarah Gold from Pittsburgh exclaimed, “I would laugh if someone called me a ‘dipsuckle’ because, in my opinion, it would have to be a joke. If it wasn’t a joke, I think laughing is the best way to discourage name-calling. If the person can’t get a rise out of you, it defeats the purpose.”

Georgia Dryfus, Cleveland, commented, “I would probably ask them, what the heck is that????????, and then depending on their reply, respond.” Her response matched others.

Catherine Smith, Seattle, spelled out another side of people’s thinking by stating, “I’d be afraid someone would hit me! That doesn’t sound like a very nice word, I don’t think I’ll do this survey.

I do have a definition for this “word”. A dipsuckle is someone who brings out the best in another person. For my Inside the Outdoors column, I wrote about pollination, and how the nectar, a sweet liquid secretion, attracts the pollinators. Bees, birds, butterflies are all attracted to flowering plants. When they land on them, the pollen sticks to their feet and the creature transfers the substance to other plants for future germination. Can you be that nectar in the presence of others? Just think, then, what you would mean to someone else. I can name three people right off the bat who have brought out the best in me – Steve Gordon, Al Celesnik, and Tom Marinchak Jr., all from Latrobe. Great guys.

One more thought before moving on. Ms. Smith inferred that the word was “dirty”. Even though I do respect her for her thoughts, I believe she has read enough of my columns now to know I wouldn’t stoop below the belt just for commentary’s sake.

I just polished off a book I enjoyed reading, We’ve Got It Made in America by Cheers’ John Ratzenberger. You may remember him as portraying Cliff, the mailman.

In talking about the common language of today he states, “Apparently Standard English is now considered uncool, unhip, geeky.” Am I so far off course as to come up with my own definitions in the light of this famous actor?

When I had my store a good long time ago, my nephew, Ryan Marshall, and I decided to think up a word that would describe shopping at Pee Vee’s. After a period of time, we decided on Smide. Its meaning – most excellent!” “It’s a smide idea to shop at Pee Vee’s”. I had signs made. It was a great attention-getter. Even motorists stopped and asked, “What’s smide,” to which I cheerfully answered its definition.

I was being transported to a physical therapy session by the local cab service. In my travels, I happened to bring to the driver’s attention about words people make up. In the course of our conversion, she told me of one friend who uses a made-up word. “Why don’t you include it in a story,” the middle-aged driver suggested.

So, here it is – “dologamus”. “And what, pray tell, does he mean by that?” I asked. “Coming from the brain!” I like it. Isn’t it nice to know everything we do is dologamus? I may say the Holy Spirit inspires me to write many of my stories, but my brain has to initiate the commands to make my fingers do the walking on those keys.

In writing about pollination led me to yet another word – Paulinated. Defined – how my behavior affected others disposition. Now, not everyone could use my name. So other people’s names could be employed as such: Beckinated, Zachinated, or Caseynated. I think you get the idea.

There’s one more word I want to talk about. It is hoose. Think a moment what it possibly could mean? “How in the world can I ever figure it out since it’s a made-up word?” may be your drawn conclusion. That’s where you are wrong, my friend. Sounds like it could be, right, but it’s in the dictionary. It’s another word for hous.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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