Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

This next word has been one of my favourite for a long time, but I only recently realized I'd been using it incorrectly. How embarrassing.

The word: Persnickety

While I used to think the word meant being a jerk, or snarky (which apparently isn't even a word), it actually means to be particular, fussy or liking things a very specific way. Sure, it can also describe someone who has a snobbish air to them, but it's more often used to define someone who is finicky over details.

There are many reasons to enjoy the word. For one, it reminds me of Lemony Snicket. Another, it encourages my mouth to make a bit of a sneer when I say it, making it pleasing for my lips to speak. It sounds a bit like a game of sorts. Maybe one in which you have to pay close attention in order to win because there is a rogue and the rogue lies and cheats and steals, and if you aren't paying attention you'll lose everything you have.

Okay, I may have spent far too much time thinking up the retro British game Persnickety, great family fun, up to eight players. Or a Scottish game, I suppose, since that's the origin of this fabulous word. Except, I can't imagine kilts to be the garment of choice when trying to steal your Grandmother's loot. Perhaps I opted for the game to be British because I am thinking snobbish and aren't the English notoriously snobby?

Ah, stereotypes, we want none of them here. Some of my favourite blokes and lasses are of the English variety.

Being on the receiving end of persnicketiness can sometimes come across as dealing with a person who is hard-to-please, or even overcritical. In truth, it comes down to them knowing how they like something done - like clothes, hair, or a way their document is typed up. Mircro managers and OCD suffers certainly are the most extreme version of persnickety, don't we all have a bit of this trait in us?

For example, I really prefer people to spell out 'you' and 'be' instead of using net speak. If I could, I'd correct everyone on the internet. It's enough to drive me mad.

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