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Some phrases and words are just too good to forget

February 22, 2009
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

Not given to gushing, I'm nonetheless amazed to the point of "Oh, wow," when I hear statements I wish I'd written.

Like the e-mail last week from a friend trying to reconnect my head with reality, asking "Have I showered your youthful silliness with a sensible mist?"

Well, if not, I would have agreed anyway just because that might be the best single line I've read in a long time. A writer knows good lines - it was a good line.

When I sold newspaper advertising in Greeley, Colo., I used to write down lines I thought were great or funny from the conversation in the ad room. That was before I realized those people were nuts. Still, when I run across snippets of paper with some of those words scratched out, I understand what drew me to them in the first place.

Some may not be eloquent, but you surely understand what's going on. Like the sentence I overheard at work a while back. The person said, "It's like being pecked to death by ducks here then going home and finding out I have my own flock."

No one could sit down and write such a colorful, easy-to-understand statement that just flows into conversation. It comes from a splash of brilliance overshadowed by extreme stress.

"Your intentions create your reality." That came through an e-mail from some small business somewhere that makes use of all things computer, such as sending out information to any and all e-mail addresses. This e-mail spam, more than anything else, has changed how new ideas and offers are sent around the country. Which brings up a pet peeve: just because they can send junk to me doesn't mean they have to.

My intention - ergo my reality - is to have a reverse blowout when it comes to this crap. Anyone who sends me junk stuff will see their whole system pecked to death by cyber ducks with the resultant mass showered by the sensible mist of friendship.

Or something like that.

Hearing good lines is one thing, seeing good words another.

Ploidy is one of those great words you just don't use very often, if ever, unless you're playing a good game of Boggle. It's a multiple of a set of chromosomes - that's why it doesn't get used often - but it's a great word.

As is cocobolo, a tropical American tree with hard, dark wood banded with light streaks. Cabinet makers and woodworkers may know this word.

All I know is I'm going to imbricate my stacks of words and phrases from now on.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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