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  • Jude Hopkins

Where Are The Men Who Love Logophiles? Published in the belladonna June 17, 2019

Confound It!


My Tinder.com bio word cloud

I once read that Woody Allen learned vocabulary words by keeping lists in his underwear drawer.

I’m not quite as obsessive. After all, when I want a pair of underwear, I want underwear, not a word-hoard. My problem is finding ways of using new vocabulary without seeming hoity-toity to my friends and lovers.

OK, so my friends are rather hoi polloi. That’s Greek for “the masses.” The slightly boorish masses, come to think of it. So far, my being abstruse has neither put them off nor kept them from eschewing the wearing of underwear. To place them in context, there isn’t a chance in hell they’ll reach in their chiffoniers for the definition of “ubiquitous” and grab a pair of tighty-whities instead.

Or maybe they will notice my penchant for the polysyllabic and take offense. “Whom does that broad think she is?” they might query (but only after a good edit). I could always placate their untamed sensibilities by telling them I like to epater la bourgeoisie or rattle their derrieres. It’s good to do that once in a while and see the world differently. In other words, ceci n’est pas une pipe, for those going commando.

I have one friend who’s a real wisenheimer to the point of being almost opprobrious. She prognosticates by writing horoscopes. She’s always telling me people born under my sign are known for their badinage.

In response, I could only toss my pate rearward and cachinnate. That’s a fancy way of saying I flipped her the bird. After all, I am not bad at anything! And what does she know? Writing about sea-goats, bovid mammals and zitellas every day must make her a few boos short of tickety. She can’t honeyfuggle me. I’m not gormless. All of my boyfriends have told me if there’s one thing I have plenty of, it’s gorm.

Speaking of boyfriends — or as I call them, inamoratos, which is Latin for bastards — I’ve had my share. Most of these guys were nothing but walking gimcracks — as frothy as spume.

But what ambrosia they dish up at the beginning! I was besotted with most of them — OK, on occasion, just sotted. They’d bestow upon me redolent tussie-mussies and curious little bibelots. (And I’ve lived without bibelots, and it blows.)

Yes, I’d prink and fard without ceasing for these jackanapes who’d ply me with billets-doux filled with fricatives so sibilant that I had to put a glottal stop to it.

And what, pray tell, were the denouements to these hook-ups? Alas, all their empurpled blandishments eventually went straight down the privy. Ultimately, all these lily-gilders turned out to be roues and Lotharios — with one singularly gifted frotteur.

All I can say is what a waste of the old winged chariot! Hey, I’m no vernal chicken. I like a good oeillade as much as the next girl, but where are the guys who appreciate a logophile as much as a romp in the copse? Someone who can pitch woo by playing “Stairway to Empyrean” on his dulcimer instead of a paradiddle to “Wipe Out.” I’m bumfuzzled, to say the least.

So I’ve moved on from these blackguards and can only hope that when I meet someone new, he is ready to commit with a chick frequently sidelined by a mean streak of logorrhea — in other words, a man willing to cross the Rubicon with a lexicon.

Or better yet, leave me speechless.

 

Jude Hopkins taught English at various universities and has published essays in the L.A. Times and Proximity Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in various journals including Timber Creek Review and California Quarterly.

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