I’ve been around words my entire life – we all have. Starting as kids, we pick them up from our parents and those around us. As we get older, we add to our vocabularies from books we read and people we meet.
There are only two ways to discover new words – either hear them spoken or read them written.
But when you are a writer, there’s an expectation you know every word. Like we have some sort of magical power that populates our brains with the entirety of the dictionary.
First of all, I WISH.
Second of all, the pressure is real. It’s very, very real.
So you can imagine the stress that ensued when Greg threw out “copacetic” a few weeks ago and I paused.
I. Did. Not. Know. It.
I. Have. No. Poker. Face.
Within seconds Greg smiled slyly and turned into a monster.
He clearly had to be smarter to know that word. I obviously wasn’t a better writer. I needed to reassess every time I ever corrected his grammar. There was a new sheriff in town.
But here’s the thing: I CANNOT KNOW WORDS I’VE NEVER READ OR HEARD.
So if you, Greg, truly knew this word so well all this time, why didn’t you use it? Why didn’t you introduce me to it in the 5 years we’ve been together?
I hadn’t once seen it in a text message or heard him say it in conversation.
But since then, I sure have. Matter of fact, for the 48 hours following this groundbreaking discovery, Greg used copacetic every chance he could.
“How was your day?” “Copacetic.”
Accidentally bumped into him in the kitchen: “Oh sorry.” “It’s all copacetic.”
“Hey, did you need something?” “Nah, it’s copacetic.”
Here’s the thing – the very big thing everyone seems to overlook. Not knowing a word isn’t on the person who doesn’t know it, it’s on everyone else.
Everyone who knew it and didn’t use it. They all let you down.
This time, they let me down – and if you ask me, that’s not copacetic.
After sharing this blog with Greg and getting the best feedback I’ve ever gotten from him on a blog, including “I found it very challenging to not laugh out loud,” he had a minor confession.
He heard copacetic for the first time last month when a contractor on his job used it. After which, he made a plan to say it around me to either impress me (assuming I knew the word) or to drive me crazy by knowing a word I didn’t know.
Based on the above, you know which way it went.
Special shoutout to my newest reader, contractor David. Thanks for 1. teaching my husband new things and 2. giving my blog a read. You can stop conspiring with him now.