‘”But that’s what I’ve always called it,” and other Dudeisms.’
I flew home from my Mom’s yesterday, and boy are my arms tired. Almost too tired to peck away at my keyboard. But I already missed last week’s missive — because I was at Mom’s — and I daren’t let too many postless weeks go by or I will lose my thousands of subscribers. Kidding.
So. Mom’s visit. It was super satisfying, what with outings to lilac gardens and riverfront eating establishments and such, plus plenty of Sister Sightings, which are always my favorite part. Sigh.
But back to the topic of today: Dude Man’s somewhat trying and definitely hilarious habit of peppering conversations with words or phrases that are, well, somewhat off. Not quite wrong, like insisting that “night” is called “day” or “black” is called “white.” But pretty close. And, what’s even more Dudelike, insisting, when gently corrected, that his usage is correct.
For example (speaking of “night” and “day”). The Dude and I have been trying to incorporate morning walks into our daily routine. Since his office hours start around 7:30 — he is a doctor, as you may recall — these walks have to start early. Like around 5:30. AM.
Which means we get to see the sun rise over Central Park. (Gorgeous, BTW.) Invariably, His Dudeness will look out over the Lake as we’re crossing Bow Bridge and say, “Ah, look at the lovely twilight.” Then, when I point out that the appearance of first light is called “dawn,” and that “twilight” refers to the fading of light in the evening, he insists that “twilight” works just fine — because “that’s what I’ve always called it.”
Another example. As you may recall, I’m sort of never not knitting something. Baby sweaters, usually. Because they’re little and fun and fast, but mainly because I’m hoping somebody out there will take the hint, already. The last one I did was a cardigan.
Dude Man duly admired it, then asked if I could knit him one too. (Larger, for sure. And probably not pink.) Since he never wears the many sweaters I have already knit for him — which have lived in a lonely stack in his closet ever since he discovered Polarfleece — I asked what would qualify this hypothetical sweater for actual wearing.
Oh, it would be a vest. So it would fit under jackets. (He has vests, I point out. Vests he never wears. Under jackets or anything else.) Oh, I’d like one that buttons down the front. You know, a button-down.
A “button-down?” I say. “A button-down” is a shirt. A shirt with buttons that hold the collar down.
No it’s not. A “button-down” is anything that buttons down the front. Like a shirt. Or a sweater, he insists.
A cardigan is a sweater that buttons down the front, I insist right back. If you go in a store and ask for a “button-down,” they’re going to bring you a shirt with those little buttons on the collar. They are most definitely not going to bring you a sweater that buttons down the front.
Well, he huffs. That’s what I’ve always called sweaters like that.
Okay. I give up. (Big sigh goes here.)
This post is reminding me of one of my father’s favorite jokes — one that he taught The Child to tell at family gatherings. Here goes:
A woman is walking down a country lane carrying a duck. A man walks by and asks, “What are you doing with that pig?” The woman replies, “That’s not a pig — that’s a duck.” Man: “I was talking to the duck.”
New York City. May 2023
2 thoughts on “Mr. Malaprop”
Too funny. I have a feeling his mind is going too fast to look for the proper word. Tell him that and he will feel better.
Back at ya with “too funny”! I will indeed tell him that. And he will indeed feel better. Especially if he’s seeing the “twilight”!