Sense and nonsense

Because my brain has been taxed far too much in the past week thanks to BlogHer '11 and doing my best to organize and utilize all I learned there, today I'm taking a break. I'm serving up nonsense, by way of today's New Word Wednesday.

And the word is ...

CODSWALLOP (KODZ wol uhp) noun nonsense; rubbish.

In my dreams, I'm quite luculent and offer profundities beyond compare, but the reality is that what I serve up more often than not is heaping helpings of codswallop.

I've decided that going forward, instead of telling Jim now and then that he's full of <cuss>, er, baloney, I'll be telling him he's full of codswallop. Makes sense to me.


For anyone who might think grandmas have little to offer and spend hours upon hours rocking away in a rocking chair, despairing that the best years of their lives have gone by—and that surely better not cannot be any regular visitors of Grandma's Briefs—one quick look at this week's Grilled Grandma should dispel that belief.

Lissa is the newest gorgeous, vibrant, and funny member of the Grilled Grandma club, and I hope you'll give her a warm welcome by way of comments on her grilling and clicks to her blog. You can start it all off right here at Grilled Grandma: Lissa. Be sure not to miss the shot of her with her four grown kids near the bottom of the grilling. The love between them in the photo is nearly palpable. So sweet!

Happy Wednesday, my grandma and non-grandma friends!

Today's question:

Provide one bit of truth and one bit of codswallop about yourself, leaving it up to those of us who read the comments to decide which is which.

Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

Okay, first let me say that I cannot believe I used a quote from the movie Rush Hour as my post title. But it's a quote Jim says. Often. So when I decided on this week's word for New Word Wednesday, the Rush Hour quote just popped into my head uninvited. And it seemed like the right thing to use. I apologize.

The word that made me think of that quote from an egregiously idiotic movie is much more cerebral than anything coming out of Chris Tucker's mouth, I can assure you. Pretty much. Maybe?

Well, you tell me. Here, my fellow wordies, is this week's offering for New Word Wednesday:

LUCULENT (LOO kyuh luhnt) adjective 1. clear or lucid. 2. convincing; cogent.

I hope my inability to be luculent when meeting new people—and sometimes even when conversing with people who aren't so new—won't be detrimental to my experience at BlogHer.

Oh my. Yeah, ya'll might consider saying a prayer for me and my BlogHer experience. Please.


If you're in the mood for cute, I've got you covered. Take one look a that little gal above and you'll have a small taste of the cuteness to come in Grilled Grandma: Janie. Her grandkids are cuties, no doubt, not only in the photos, but in the stories Janie shares of them. Don't miss it.

And if you're in the mood for hitting the open road, Janie has you covered there with her blog. Click on over after reading her grilling (link at the bottom of her grilling); you won't be disappointed!

Happy Wednesday!

Today's question:

Are you more luculent when writing or when speaking?

The heat is (still) on

Many of us are still hot and bothered by the crazy heat that has swept the nation. Sure, it's a tad cooler than last week...maybe...but it's still hot.

With heat comes irritability. Especially for those without air-conditioning. I'm one of those.

Yet being irritable—the word, not the behavior—isn't quite as onomatopoeic as one might desire when it comes to describing the state many of us are in. So I found a new word. It's not a true onomatopoeia because it doesn't sound like the irritable me sounds, but it sounds like the irritable me feels. (Kind of like how the word heebie-jeebies doesn't describe how the state sounds at all, but certainly what it feels like.) Plus, this new word o' mine is short, has only one meaning, and it's easy to pronounce, which uses less energy to say—a plus on these steamy days.

So I hereby share with you today's word for New Word Wednesday:

TETCHY (TECH ee) adjective 1. irritable; touchy.

Because of the continued heat wave, I'm tetchy and acting more like a toddler in need of a nap than a good and gracious grandmother.

A fitting word, if I do say so my tetchy self.



I certainly can't imagine the Grilled Grandma featured this week as ever being tetchy, but one look at that photo above which she titled "skiing is hard on grandma's nerves" and there's no doubt she's lots of fun.

Read all about this fun-loving grandma and her fortunate grandkids in Grilled Grandma: Mary. Then definitely pop on by her blog to see some of the awesome photos Mary takes of what she sees and is and does. She's an interesting lady, to say the least. Clearly not tetchy at all.

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Today's question:

Being hot makes me tetchy. What makes you tetchy?

A 'fullness of feeling'

Three weeks into the New Word Wednesday feature, I've finally found a word I've been searching for since April. It's not exactly the word I wanted, but close enough to matter.

Back in April, our ever-insightful, ever-inspirational bloggy friend known here as Grandmother (Hi, Mary!) wrote a post about Louise Erdrich's poem, The Glass and the Bowl. In her post, Mary noted that, "Her poem captures that incomparable fullness of feeling that comes unbidden in precious moments of parenting ..." .

Mary's "fullness of feeling" phrase was so perfect, so true, so absolutely spot on for many of my heartfelt sensations that it has stuck with me ever since. Even more so than Erdrich's evocative poem.

"Fullness of feeling" describes the richness I experience when I look at photos of Bubby and Mac loving on one another, or soak in the sense of family when our original five are together and laughing, when I hear young children in concert, when I see a veteran with hand over heart and holding back tears as he bravely honors a fallen comrade. In so, so much is there a fullness of feeling. Now I have words for that.

Yet I also want just one word for that. I figured there simply must be a single word that comes close to Mary's description. I've searched, and there's not. At least not that I've found. Not really. Not one so exactly, perfectly right.

But there is one that's close. Or at least related. And it's today's New Word Wednesday offering:

PROFUNDITY (pruh FUHN di tee) noun 1. the quality or state of being profound; depth. 2. Usually, profundities. profound or deep matters. 3. profoundly deep; abyss.

The profundity of Mary's words left a lasting impression on me.


Thank you, Mary, for the new phrase that led me to a new word.


Profundity is often a theme of the Grilled Grandmas, and the newest grandma to be grilled is no exception. Please be sure to read Grilled Grandma: Patti before clicking away and heading off into the nether regions of the Internet. And if you're feeling the love, please don't hesitate to offer her a few words — profound or not-so-profound — in the comment-love section. Such a simple act may make another's day.

Thank you for making my day by visiting Grandma's Briefs and reading my blatherings. Now go enjoy your day ... and your air-conditioning, too, if you're one of the lucky ones to have it (which, unfortunately, I'm not).

Today's question:

Who, what, or where would you deem a 'profundity'?

My, how congenial

Through blogging, I've met so many folks with passions and pursuits similar to mine. Often the similarities are a love for grandchildren and children. Just as often it's a love for the written word — reading it or writing it. And occasionally I'm fortunate to come across someone with similar tastes in music ... or food ... or television shows that are destined to be cancelled as soon as I take up watching them.

Online more often than off, I've found my kind of people, my kindred spirits. And this week's New Word Wednesday is all about them, for today's word — one I don't use nearly often enough but am now determined to — is:

CONGENIAL (kuhn JEEN yuhl, kuhn JEE nee uhl) adj 1 : having the same nature, disposition, or tastes : kindred (congenial companions) 2 a : existing or associated together harmoniously b : pleasant; especially : agreeably suited to one's nature, tastes, or outlook (a congenial atmosphere) c : sociable, genial (a congenial host) 

The congenial visitors to Grandma's Briefs far outnumber the trolls.

—Definition from Mirriam-Webster; use in a sentence from me

Now, my friends, go forth and be congenial.


This week's Grilled Grandma is the epitome of congenial. Head on over to read about Grilled Grandma: Robin and please be congenial to her in return by way of comments, kudos and clicks to her blog. I thank you and I appreciate you, as she surely will, too.

Happy Wednesday!

Today's question:

When saying congenial, do you prefer pronouncing it "kuhn JEEN yuhl" or "kuhn JEE nee uhl"?

A deipnosophist I'm not

I love words. But as I do with recipes, I get stuck in a rut with those I use most often. So I'm starting something new here on Grandma's Briefs. I want to try out new words, learn new words, use new words, and hope that you might, too. As is the case with getting in shape, breaking a habit, and going on a diet, it's always easier to accomplish such a goal when you a have a partner in the quest. So I'm recruiting you, dear readers of Grandma's Briefs, as my partners.

From now on, Wednesdays here will be New Word Wednesday. At least until I — or you — get bored with it. Or we decide our vocabularies, our brains, and our increased dendrites from learning have reached maximum capacity and we shall learn no more.

For New Word Wednesday, I will present a word. Maybe it'll be a new word most of us haven't heard of. Maybe it'll be an old word that I'd like to use more often. Maybe it'll be one you've e-mailed me to suggest for New Word Wednesday. More often than not, it'll be a wild, wacky, and relatively obscure word from my copy of The Gilded Tongue, a word I simply feel compelled to share. Together we'll try out the word, maybe incorporate it into our writing, speaking, reading. Maybe not. We'll see what happens...together.

So without further adieu, here is the first-ever New Word Wednesday offering:

<drum roll...>

DEIPNOSOPHY (dyp-NAHS-uh-fee): n. from deipnon (meal), probably of non-Indo-European origin and Greek sophistos (wise man, sophist): skillfull dinner conversation.

Oscar Wilde was so skilled at deipnosophy that he received many free dinners from people who loved to hear him talk.

—From "The Gilded Tongue: Overy Eloquent Words for Everyday Things" by Rod L. Evans, PH.D.

There you have it. Our first word for New Word Wednesdays. A word that I can honestly say I have never used before yet one that quite eloquently and adequately describes something I so very much am not.

Having kicked off that, do note that Wednesdays will continue to be Grilled Grandma day, as well. This week's Grilled Grandma will forever forward be known to me as Awesome Alice as she is one awesome G-Maw. Read Grilled Grandma: Alice to find out why I say that...and to learn who that precious little gal is to the right.

And, as always, if you know of a grandma you'd like added to the grilling schedule, please e-mail me her first name and e-mail address. We've always got room for more.

Today's question:

Who in your life would you name as the most skilled at deipnosophy?