NTDL #52: Word-encies

Word Tendencies. Word-encies.

Have you ever realized (during contemplative self-reflection aka showering, walking places, ‘listening’ in class or in a meeting, being solicited on the phone) that people go through “word” phases? You know, times in your life where you have an affinity towards a certain word? And it gets to the point where you over-use it and you suddenly become VERY aware? Or someone else over-uses a word and that’s all you can focus on? Now, I am not saying that everyone does this. But I am saying that maybe not everyone is fully aware of this being a “thing”. Let me give you a few examples.

1. The General Phrase: A phrase you say in response to things on the daily. You get to the point where it is almost an automatic response and it’s over-use might lead the speaker to wonder if you are actually taking-in what they are saying OR you are just giving an automated robotic response (Don’t worry, robots are cool. Your secret is safe with me).

Mine: Right now…I have become far too aware of me saying “actually though” and “hilarious”

2. The Greeting: We go through greeting phases. How you say Hello and How are you?  This goes through phases throughout your life. I will be the case and point.

Mine: I did not always say hello to someone in such eloquent terms as I do now – “Yo” and “Sup” are sadly my greetings of habit currently (I am so very sorry). But, there was a dark time in my life where this greeting was reduced to the word of “Howdy”. Yes. I did not misspell that. Never in my life have I lived anywhere near the south, ridden horses or listened to country music on more than a “by-force” basis. Despite all of this, howdy would come tumbling out as I greeted everyday people. Dark times.

3. The “word that no one else uses but YOU use more than any normal human being should”: For some reason this word is in your vocabulary and you don’t know how or why it got there.

Mine: Qualm. This is my word of the week (hopefully it will not persist). I have somehow managed to integrate it into conversations thrice…I apologize to those who already struggle to understand what I am trying to say on a daily basis. To be totally honest, I think this might be the first time I have ever even typed the word “qualm”. You see…Qualm’s biggest qualm is that people will qualm about using it in anything other than trying to explain a qualm. Now, did that sentence make you feel qualmish?

4. The Copy-Cat Term: The word you picked up by hanging around someone or a group of people way too much and now use their “General Phrase” way more than necessary.

Mine: “Accurate” – thanks to my sister.

On a super random and sort of similar note…have you ever just said or typed a word that you don’t even know the meaning of? I swear I don’t read as much as I should…but honestly…unless I have a dictionary App embedded (punny) into my pillow, I have no other excuse as to why I use some words. Maybe it’s the copious amounts of random blogs and articles I have read over the years (I usually only get half way through…or past the first paragraph…#AttentionProblems) but I refuse to let that be the reason for my inadvertently expanding subconscious vocabulary.

Can anyone relate? Please tell me I am not alone!

NTDL #51 – The “P” Word

The “P” Word

No, I am sad to say this post will not be similar to Sesame Street. I will not dwell on awesome topics that start with “P” like pandas and play-dough.

Also, the “P” word is not referring to a socio-political, racially controversial, or an academic term that starts with a P an ends in “ism” or “ist”.

When I say the “P” word, I am talking about the dreaded term…


If you have ever been categorized under this before, you know what I mean. Whether it be in the world of sports, work force or academia…this a loaded term.

To have potential is great. We all have it in different areas of our lives. We all especially had it in our youth. Man, “potential”…it was endless! I was in an enrichment class for science in grade 2 and man did I take advantage of that! I am now a 4th year English major who dislikes the use of standard punctuation/sentence structure regulations AND who has very minimal interest surrounding most scientific topics.

I digress.

I just always recall the term “potential” being used on young adults who were past that time in their life where their age was an excuse, and were on their way to being those…disappointments. Not that they are actually disappointments! That isn’t what I am getting at. These people (myself included) who had potential, never asked to be placed in the “potential pot”.

Example Scenario: A tall 12 year old girl (not me, man…wish I had height potential, my genetics decided otherwise. Thanks mom and dad.)

Potential: Wow! She has so much potential in (insert every sport where height is beneficial)!!!

The let down: She tries and tries constantly in athletics. People keep giving her chances because she has potential (although it was her genetic code, not skill, that placed her inadvertently in the athletic potential pot). By the time she is 18, she chooses to not play sports in university because 1. She has a passion for bird watching 2. she has zero coordination which has led her to dislike most sports.

Reaction of others: What a waste of potential. She could have been great. If only she had the work ethic…and skill…and desire…and…etc.

The above is a very general and COMMON scenario.

Anywho. Can anyone relate? Can anyone recall someone who was placed in similar situation?

You see, I had potential to be a model…

But my dreams were derailed by chocolate and biceps.

Photo on 2014-03-04 at 21.41 #3

Photo on 2014-03-04 at 21.35 #2

NTDL #49: Hyperbolic Syndrome

Get a test back you thought you failed…you passed…with a “B”: “THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”

Drop your phone on the sidewalk…tiny scratch on the screen: “WHY ME! What did I do to deserve this! Worst day ever!”

Didn’t fall asleep until 2am, had to get up at 6: “Oh my GOD, I got ABSOLUTELY NO sleep last night. I have such a long day ahead of me. I might as well give up all faith in humanity now.”

See a cute chubby kid dutty wining on youtube: “That is officially THE FUNNIEST thing I have EVER seen!”

Dear reader,

Have you, or someone you love, ever done any of the above? (ooo that rhymed) If you respond “no”…well then you are in some serious denial my friend. I personally think I do it a lot. But I also know some people who take exaggerations to a whole-notha-level.

I call this strange phenomenon…

“Hyperbolic Syndrome”

There is one symptom…though it is not exactly easily diagnosed because we ALL do it. It becomes more obvious when the listener picks up on the speakers incessant hyperbolic speech…then they can’t stop focusing on it.

Symptom #1 of 1: You can’t seem to make a statement/respond to someone/tell a story without using what academics term as “absolutes”. You speak in a constant exaggeration.

Example: Never, Always, Best, Worst, THE MOST…etc – These terms signify something universally valid…when really MOST of us use it to make an exaggerated claim which technically is not true. That girl’s outfit you just made fun of probably isn’t the biggest tragedy ever. I think some things could elicit more tears and remorse. Just saying.

This being said, exaggerated terms are great. Don’t stop using them. They make conversations and stories fun. BUT they are meant to give an emphasis of opinion and should be used a little more sparingly…maybe? If you emphasize EVERYTHING then you are essentially speaking in constant hyperbole and everything you actually want to focus on will just seem to blend into the mundane stuff you attempt to make exciting all the time.

I was going to end on an ironic note by using an exaggeration, but that would be the most predictable thing ever.




I truly believe in the idea of “to each his/her own”

That being said…(I couldn’t bring myself to post a photo)

Click here to see what a skullet looks like…

This naturally occurring hair-trocity makes me question the very foundation of my value system.

I don’t like moral ambiguity people! Quite frankly, it’s upsetting.

Mullet + receding hairline = NO

I have nothing else to say.

NTDL #47: The Shamefully Unshameful Walk-Of-Shame

Scenario: It’s 10 am and you are walking home in one of the following outfits:

1. High heels and the dress, skirt or super classy outfit you wore last night

2. Sweat pants and sweat shirt with heels in hand (minus heels if a guy)

3. Combination of any of the above plus unwashed face and a but of a stagger in your step

4. Hair that looks like it once looked nice

We’ve all been there. We’ve all walked that.

I have witnessed them all. Girls with their head held high because they are trying to pretend that they are going for an abnormally early stroll in stilettos (calf workout right?). Or their head held low because if they don’t make eye contact with you then you can’t seem them…right?

Love the logic. Anyways…

What is worse than the above? When your casual walk in the early morning is misinterpreted as a Walk-Of-Shame. Let’s be honest. I’d rather actually be walking a Walk-Of-Shame than be just walking and people thinking I had a “long” night. It’s a lose-lose! No one wants a Shamefully-Unshameful-Walk-Of Shame (too much?) Not only did you not have a crazy fun night…but people are assuming you did which makes you feel worse because if people are going to assume those things you’d rather them be accurate! So on-lookers are judging you despite your well-intentioned “I’m going to go to bed early and wake up and get a coffee while everyone else is hung over tra-la-la”. Like…really?!

It’s the gods of social mockery emphasizing how lame you are.

Case and point:

Walking to the gym on a beauty Sunday morning in what now seems like a questionable clothing choice: Over-sized sweat pants, teal running shoes, bright yellow t-shirt (obviously over-sized too…) and a messy pony tail to top it all off. I walk by a house where 4 guys are sitting on the front porch (probably have been there all night) and they start chanting at me “Walk-of-shame! Walk-of-shame!” How does one refute that? I had 2 choices…

1: “Umm excuse me, no. I’m a very classy young lady and am just innocently walking to the gym because I was lame and stayed in last night thank you very much.”


2: Walk by. Hold head high. Laugh and keep on moving.

I chose the second option…but what would you do?

How many times have we seen someone and just assumed? It’s weird but people do wake up before 10 on Sundays (not just because they are trying to get away with something that isn’t really that bad because what are you “getting away with” really?) People will judge you for every and anything you do anyways!

I say, embrace the stare. Work those presumptions.


NTDL #46: The Puddle Jumping Myth

No one ACTUALLY likes puddle jumping. Well…sort of…

Before I get into that rant, let me just get this one thing off my chest:

  • Puddle “jumping” seems to imply you are missing the puddle…and that is not very exciting. You are just being a very aware and practical walker and avoiding getting your feet wet. We should possibly consider re-wording this socially strange phenomenon.


You are probably like “Hold up. I love puddle jumping”…but think about it for a second. You are going out of your way to “jump IN” a pool of water and letting your feet get soaked. It is going to cause you more grief than pleasure really. Now you have to change your boots/shoes (I’m always in shoes…curse you puddle gods), socks and pants. And don’t even get me started on taking off wet clothing…it’s so terrible. (Spandex-wearing people, yah feel me?)

Alright, I’ll admit, I do occasionally like stomping in a puddle BUT I find it more enjoyable telling people about it than actually doing it. It is one of those acts where it makes a great story, but in actuality it was not that eventful. There was puddle. You jumped in it. You soaked the bottom half of your body. Congratulations.

Now sometimes people are in a hyper-type mood and

go crazy and jump in puddle…and that is fun…but let’s debunk this Puddle Jumping Myth once and for all. It is simply a socially acceptable and contained rebellion against the status quo of Puddle Avoiding. Nothing more.

Now…if you REALLY want a good story…stand by a big puddle when a car drives by. OR jump in one while your friend is walking by and they don’t expect it. You usua

lly get more soaked than they do but it is funny…until they hate you of course. Anyways, this is way more entertaining. Way better story. Let’s move on to bigger and better things people. (I was going to write bigger and wetter but my mind is permanently in the gutter…and I am now hysterical writing this actually…)

Okay. Regrouping.

Jump in puddles to your heart’s content people! But go big or go home. Dive in the damn puddle. Don’t just walk through one and go on twitter and be like “OMG I went puddle jumping today. So fun #Yolo #SorryNotSorry #ImSoCray”

Rachael Out