Throughout history parents have faced countless obstacles when attempting to raise their children. From the time cavepeople needed to protect their children from disease festering mammoth poop (“Don’t play in the mammoth poop!”), to ancient Rome when a child’s bane was marauding barbarians with hot pokers (not to mention memorizing all the declensions of Latin nouns and conjugations of Latin verbs), through the Dark Ages when parents were challenged by general ignorance, wishing they had advanced technology such as mammoth poop, to American colonial times when the choice to coerce radical children to be true to the throne was a life and death decision, to modern day intangible atrocities like media driven feaux-role models such as Lindsay Lohan and George W. Bush, we parents have had to conquer a lot of adversity to ensure the socially acceptable development of our spawns.
Allow me to describe one of my typical days of protective parenting. I wake up and take inventory of all of my children to make sure none have run off or have been abducted. Then I examine the Sponge Bob cartoon to make sure his nose does not resemble a penis too much. Since I have the TV on, I flip over to Oprah to make sure her guest is not some doctor chattering on and on about vaginas. During my trip between channels I am bombarded with cash thirsty advertisers attempting to suckle at the teats of my children’s ignorance, enticing their smoldering impulses and wants. I can’t believe I am talking about my children’s figurative teats. When I accidentally land on the E! Channel’s Top Ten show about Britney Spears’ favorite alcohol and pharmaceutical combinations, I throw a brick through the television set.
Next, I have an appointment with our town drug dealer. He has agreed to leave my kids alone until they turn eighteen if I agree to buy a quarter ounce of pot from him each week. I do this because I’m willing to sacrifice myself to be a good parent. On the way home, I sand blast gang symbols off our police station and stop by the public water works to make sure there are no fecal remnants or lead in the water supply. When I arrive back home, the kids are awake, each eating a bowl of sugar disguised as a cross-marketed movie protagonist, so I force feed them each a handful of Grape Nuts and make them stare, Clockwork Orange style, at a poster of Euell Gibbons for an hour. I know this is backward to the desired affect of A Clockwork Orange, but it’s fun putting those clamps on their eyelids, and what the hell else am I supposed to do with my Euell Gibbons poster?
After breakfast, the son decides to play video games while the daughter breaks out her army of Barbie dolls. After thirty seconds of watching my son command his animated rat-like creature to decapitate helpless animated Globulolians with a serrated petrified fish head, I take a pair of scissors and sever the power line to the video game console to save him from further depictions of senseless violence. When I regain consciousness from the electric shock blackout, I notice a large line of naked Barbies sitting on the couch. The daughter tells me they are waiting in line at Customs for their full body cavity search on their way to Canada for some frolicking. Time to spray paint some clothes on Barbie and put them in the crawl space.
This is all getting too much. I cannot continue to relive another day like this, especially since I have to do it again tomorrow. I need to stop recounting my day now. But I will tell you that our lunchtime conversation included subjects such as obtaining tattoos, you can’t get cancer if you soak the cigarettes in turpentine first, analingus is not really sex, can I go over to Mary’s house to look at her dad’s gun collection, entering contests on Internet pop-up adds are easy to win, skateboarding off the roof, murder is just another way to get ahead in the world, mustard stains are icky, and Billy says if you love your dog you can’t get arrested for bestiality with it. After putting up with all of this, and the activities that rounded out the day after lunch, which I do not have the strength to talk about, you would think the last obstacle of parental hindrance I would have to face would be a reference book company.
That’s right, Merriam-Webster has undermined my parental integrity. I’m not afraid to say it. I don’t care what kind of word henchmen they may have on staff to patrol the speaking public. Many of you have seen that they have recently posted the newest words to gain acceptance into their pompous lexicon. Even though I used the term “pompous lexicon” I claim to remain not bitter. One of those words is “ginormous”, which, technically, is a depound word, albeit, not a very inventive one, combining the words “gigantic” and “enormous”, meaning gigantic or enormous.
Let me cut to the parental usurping chase. Over the past year I have been admonishing my son for using that word. Still he continued to use it. I tried to explain to him that it was merely a fad of illiteracy, appealing to only those who were weak minded enough to resort to such verbal crutches, relieving themselves from any responsibility to linguistic propriety. To which he replied, “Huh? People are relieving themselves? Like pissing? What?” Eventually my cajoling rendered him apologetic every time he used the word in front of me. “Sorry, Dad.” From his fluency with the word, I could tell he was wielding it freely while cavorting with his friends and the general public. At least his apologies to me revealed he was aware that he was saying it and that it was wrong, on some level, to use it. That is, until Merriam-Websterdecided to validate the wordship of ginormous against my better judgement.
The son no longer apologizes to me when he uses the word because it is in the dictionary. What’s worse is the frequency of his use of ginormous has increased, and not always in grammatically correct ways. “Dad, I’m going to ginormous mow the lawn ginormous, but I need gas ginormous money for the mower. Ginormous, ginormous. Oh, and one more thing – ginormous.” What’s worst of all is, because of Merriam-Webster’s need to be hip to sell more dictionaries to illiterate and incorrigible teenagers, my son no longer believes any of my parental guidance. Sure, drinking and driving is dangerous. Sure, studying will help my grades. Sure, if I don’t wear a rubber I’ll end up ruining my life by disease or by parenthood, or both. Sure, Jerry Springer isn’t a news program. You were wrong about ginormous, how do I know you aren’t wrong about those things? How do I know they won’t make heroin legal someday, either?
So, I’ve given up parenting the son. I hope he knows how to use a mop. What really gets me is that ginormous is now officially a word, but useful words like xe and depound go unnoticed, and are probably not even considered for acceptance by the snoots at Merriam-Webster. Especially, xe. That word has the power to change our entire language for the better. No longer will we have to awkwardly tap dance around gender specific pronouns in attempt to be non-offensive or non-committal. Xe can free society from the manacles of conformed expression. What we need is to get the word out (both literally and literally) so that more people use xe. Use of the word on this blog and message board is not enough (apparently - but you would think it would be enough based on the scholarly exposure we provide). “Important” people need to start using it in print. We need a marketing campaign to brainwash young children to use it so that the number-crunchers at Merriam-Webster can determine, if they include xe, they will sell more copies of their rad expression manual to unsuspecting young gibberish speakers. The acceptance of xe requires a grass roots campaign the likes of which has not been seen since Temptation Eyes. WHO’S WITH ME?!?!?!?!?!
(Note: if you are unfamiliar with the words xe and depound, please click here and here.)