A Brand New Verb

80935F70-8DC7-4586-AAD6-5E3F12250B20There’s a new verb to add to your lexicon. I found out about it this morning while reading my iPhone’s news feed. The verb is “phubbing.”

Have you ever used it? Have you ever even heard of it? I hadn’t, but I’m not really out there when it comes to the latest colloquialisms being added to the English language.

So what is it? Well, according to my iPhone’s news feed, phubbing is the practice of snubbing others in favor of your mobile phone. It’s a mashup of the words “phone” and “snubbing.” It is the act of ignoring someone by paying closer attention to your phone than to them.

When we’re staring at our phones, the article pointed out, we’re often texting with someone, checking Twitter or Facebook, or looking at pictures of funny cats or cute dogs on the internet. And that means we are not engaging with others via in-person, face-to-face relationships.

Some suggest that overuse of our phones in the presence of others can lead to a decline in interpersonal relationships, even to those we are closest to, such as our spouses, parents, or children.

The act of phubbing is almost self-perpetuating. People snubbed in favor of technology are more likely to attach themselves to their phones in unhealthy ways. Yikes!

So after I finished reading the article, I looked up from my iPhone, looked at my wife, who was sitting across the kitchen table from me, and said, “Hey, honey, I learned a new word this morning.”

With her eyes glued to her own iPhone, she responded, “Shh, don’t bother me. I’m tweeting.”

That’s when I realized I’d just been phubbed.



98DE955A-7E64-4719-808D-58828D04E55EWhen I saw today’s one-word prompt, “tame,” it brought to mind my post from yesterday that had the last line, “And as they say, music soothes the savage beast.”

I connected the dots and thought that to “soothe the savage beast” is essentially the same as to “tame” a savage beast.

So then I went to Google to look up the phrase, “music soothes the savage beast,” just to make sure I was on the right track. But I was surprised to learn that that’s not the original quotation. The actual quotation is “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.”

Yes, a savage breast.

This proverb comes from the play “The Mourning Bride,” by William Congreve, an English author of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The phrase was intended to mean that music has the power to enchant even the roughest of people.

In fact, the line that follows the one about soothing a savage breast reads, “to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”

So maybe soothing something is not in any way related to taming something.

Damn. Now I’ll have to think of something else to write about for today’s one-word prompt.

What Women Need to Know About Men

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You may find this hard to believe, but men and women are different, and not just in a superficial way. They think, feel, and behave differently. Men are relatively simple, straightforward beings. Women are complex, complicated organisms.

If you are a woman, here are a few hints that may help you to understand, relate to, and deal with us guys. If you are a man, feel free to add your own insights.

Are you ready?

Men are not mind readers. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

Ask directly for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:

Subtle hints do not work.
Strong hints to not work.
Obvious hints do not work.
Just say it.

“Yes” and “No” are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after seven days.

If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.

If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant it the other way.

You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

Christopher Columbus did not need to ask for directions, and neither do we.

Most men see only primary colors. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

If you ask a question that you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer that you don’t want to hear.

When we have to go out somewhere, anything you wear is fine. Really.

Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports.

You have enough clothes; you have too many shoes.

And finally, crying is not playing fair.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “superficial.”

(Note: I had to republish this because, for some inexplicable reason, the first time it somehow disappeared.)

Fishing For Compliments

58E1A47C-87FF-465F-B530-A6159BF5C2D0When my wife read my response to today’s one-word prompt, “witty,” she chastised me. “That was an obnoxious post,” she told me.

“What? Why would you say that?” I asked, honestly having no clue what she was talking about.

“You blatantly and shamelessly fished for compliments,” she said. “You were just begging for people to read you post and tell you in the comments how funny and witty and humorous you are. Admit it,” she insisted.

“No, I wasn’t fishing for compliments,” I protested. “I was just being brutally honest and confessing that I’m just not that witty.”

“That’s bullshit! You are so transparent. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“No!” I said. “I was being sincere, genuine.”

“And delusional,” she said. “I’m going to stop following you blog. And for what it’s worth, you aren’t very witty.”

Damn that’s harsh.

I’m kidding, of course. I’m very witty and my wife loves my blog. She just has no sense of humor!


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I generally don’t believe in coincidences. But then I saw a comment on one of my recent posts by my blogger friend, Jim Adams. He wrote, “I just Googled ‘money is almost always a restriction’ and the first thing that came up was your post. That is so awesome.”

So I tried it and, sure enough, there was my post at the very top of the list of responses!


So, was it just a coincidence that Jim looked up that line from my post in Google and saw that it topped the list? Or was it preordained that someday some post that I wrote would be in the top spot on a Google search (albeit, a very specific search)?

Something like this could make one reevaluate his whole system of beliefs!

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “coincidence.”