Top-Shelf Words


I just got home from work. Apparently Super Bowl Sunday isn’t the busiest time of year for us. I spent the last two hours walking around, cleaning things, then walking around only to clean them a second time.

Now I’m home. Not watching The Big Game ® but instead, losing my dreaded pants, fixing a shower curtain rod, and blogging brilliant stuff of legendary proportions. I’m not TOTALLY oblivious. I know, for example, the Seattle Angry Birds are playing the Denver Pomeranians. Or something.

This would be a picture of my wife, if she were a guy.
This would be a picture of my wife, if she were a guy.

I used to love this game, back when San Francisco used to win it a lot. Now, I just glance at the score from time to time and shrug. Football (and most other televised sports) take a LONG time to watch, and I haven’t got that sort of patience anymore.  If either of my kids liked sports, I’d probably watch with them; since they don’t, I content myself with peeking at ESPN’s online scoreboard.

Except the University Oregon Ducks. I watch those games!

Recently I heard a comedian (Louis CK), talking about top-shelf words. He was angrily lamenting the use of words like “hilarious” when the situation clearly called for something less. I can think of numerous other ways we do this. Saying “That’s awesome!” in the 80s did it for the president of our Bible College. “Only God is awesome,” he would quip. That was pretty radical!

Today, the word-used-out-of-context is “literally,”  as in the sentence “I literally screamed my head off.” Riiiiight. That explains the giant explosion of ridiculousness, and gray matter.

There are others often used as intensifiers for no good reason. Bodacious. Which, mind you, has nothing whatsoever to do with the awesomeness, or non-awesomeness of someone’s breasts. Or the Celtic queen Boadicea. I thought both of those things for years, so I found very little reason to use the word. Bodacious!

Matthew 5 from the New Testament says “let your yes be yes and your no be no; anything else is from the evil one.”  Pulpit people always used that as an indictment against cursing. Saying things like “HELL no!” Or you’d end up there. I remember Tony Campolo saying  (my paraphrase–not his exact ones) “People are starving in Central America, and we’re not doing a damn thing to stop it. And now you’re more upset that I said damn, than about the starving people.” I’m paraphrasing, but in 1987 in Bible College, this woke a lot of people up. He was the first evangelical Christian I ever heard use any word that was considered immoral by the Christian Saucy Language Police. I haven’t stopped swearing since.

It’s been Awesome! Bodacious! Literally blew my mind, folks!

Well, The Ospreys just won the super bowl, and my son sniped the last bowl of stew before I could get any dinner. So I guess I’ll sign off for the night. I hope everyone has a wonderful evening. And I do mean that literally. Remember: too many nachos spoil the guac. And nobody wants to be that guy.

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One thought on “Top-Shelf Words”

  1. Dude, you are totally remiss for not listing all the corporate sponsors of the gridiron teams, their kit, travel provider, lodgings, side-line snacks and beverages, and, worst of all, your failure to insert a picture of yourself with a milk mustache and a statement of your intention to travel to Walt’s World.

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