If you think there should be rules you obviously are new here, but if you have to have them so you’ll know when I’ve broken them, they’re here,
Tonight’s three random seed words are “incertitude”, “scrupulosity”, and “ayegreen.”
ONE: Incertitude is defined as, “Uncertainty, doubtfulness, doubt.” Can I use it in a sentence? “I was full of fluid so the doctor was forced to make an incision and incertitude to drain it.” (That would be wrong, wrong, oh so very wrong.)
Looking for something on Google using “incertitude,” I find the first page of hits are just dictionaries to define it, or give synonyms, or antonyms. (Surprisingly, no homonyms, even from Gray’s Anatomy, despite my previous use of the term.) (Wait, you thought that it was just a TV show? That’s “Grey”, not “Gray.” How could you confuse them?) But then I find page after page of entries in French.
Like this one, which apparently is talking about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Having studied physics, I know about this one. Quantum mechanics, very weird stuff. The tl;dr version here is that in the quantum world, very freakin’ tiny, you can know either where a particle is or how fast it’s going, but never both. In addition, the more precisely you measure one value, the more uncertain the other becomes.
That’s all you need to know to get this joke. “A policeman pulls over a quantum physicist and says, ‘Sir, you were doing 100 miles an hour back there.’ The physicist says, ‘Great, now I’m lost!'”)
TWO: Scrupulosity is defined as, “The quality or state of being scrupulous; respecting decisions or actions; caution or tenderness from the fear of doing wrong or offending; nice; regard to exactness and propriety precision.”
Is anyone ever referred to as “scrupulous” any more? My gut feeling is that it’s far, far more rare than its opposite, “unscrupulous.” Now there, there you your choice of people to label.
Politicians, first and foremost. Reading the political news is even worse than “reading the comments,” and just about as likely to raise your blood pressure or hone your cynicism to a fine point.
The stereotypical lawyer, sales person, or business owner, although I believe that’s probably not true nearly as often as we imagine it to be. It’s just that getting screwed by some business person or lawyer tends to stick in your memory far longer than getting treated well.
Too often, unfortunately, religious and social leaders. Maybe we put them up on a pedestal and expect them to be better than normal or to lead by example, but if you’re going to make your paycheck that way, it comes with the job. If you think being a priest is only a fast way to be alone with pre-teen altar boys or having your own congregation is the ticket to having a free Gulfstream jet (you know who I’m talking about), then maybe you’re seriously lacking in scrupulosity.
THREE: Ayegreen is defined as, “The houseleek Sempervivum tectorum.” Thank god for Google – I never would have guessed that it’s an odd little plant that’s a cross between an evergreen and a succulent, and apparently edible. They’re commonly known as “hens and chicks”?
The pictures make them look like something I’ve seen around, usually in some sort of decorative, desert-like, low maintenance, low water display, or in a rock garden. Rock gardens and “drought-friendly yards” are becoming a big thing around here as we head into the fourth year of the worst drought in recorded history for California. We haven’t had our sprinklers on for almost a year, and our yard looks like it.
They’re apparently native to the mountains of southern Europe The USDA map shows that they’ve been introduced in North America in spots along the East Coast, up into eastern Canada, and into Utah. (What the hell is up with Utah?) I suspect the USDA is only keeping track of where they can be found growing out by the roads or in the woods on their own, not where they’ve shown up in decorative planters at Home Depot. That might be all fifty states.
And do we really want to be “drought-friendly”? Not that I’m nearly as obsessed about a “putting green lawn” as most of our neighbors, but I’m more of a “suffering through as best I can” sort of person instead of a “friendly” person when it comes to droughts. It’s not like I’m going to invite the drought over for a BBQ or to watch the ballgame and have a beer.
Plus, I don’t much like beer.